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Brazil Expecting a Lot from Biodiesel

Biodiesel, a fuel of vegetable origin, derived from such sources as the castor-oil plant, the dendê palm, the babassu palm, and the sunflower, is one of the Brazil government's bets to reduce atmospheric carbon gas emissions, execute a successful social inclusion program, and promote the development of technologies.

By the end of this year, the government plans to authorize a mixture containing 2 percent biodiesel added to mineral diesel. To ensure the success of the program, various organs have been assigned to work on the project.

This information was providedby Rodrigo Rollemberg, Secretary of Science and Technology for Social Inclusion in the Ministry of Science and Technology (MCT).

Rollemberg said that the B2 biodiesel program (the 2 percent mixture with mineral diesel) was named a priority by President Lula, because it embodies a high degree of social inclusion and represents a renewable, less polluting form of fuel, which reduces atmospheric carbon gas emissions by 80 percent.

Another advantage of the program, according to Rollemberg, is that each percent of biodiesel used to substitute mineral diesel generates 45 thousand direct jobs in the countryside and 135 thousand in urban areas.

This finding, he said, comes from the Council of Advanced Studies and Technological Assessment, a technical advisory body attached to the leadership of the Chamber of Deputies.

According to the Secretary of the MCT, the program is also suited to the poorest regions of the country, such as the semi-arid Northeast, where the raw material will be supplied by castor-oil plants, and the Amazon, where dendê palms will be used.

If the program proves effective, the mixture can be changed to include more biodiesel. There are already plans for B5 and even B20 biodiesel, with 5 percent and 20 percent biodiesel in the mixture.

Since the program was designated a priority by President Lula, various organs have been working together to make sure it becomes a reality, as soon as the regulatory standards that authorize the use of biodiesel are ready. November is when the program is scheduled to take effect.

Until then, two interministerial groups, in the Presidential Civilian Advisory Staff and the Ministry of Mines and Energy, will organize the process of gathering the raw material and transforming it into diesel and formulate programs to stimulate the production of raw material.

Agência Brasil

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