Brazilian Ethanol Fosters Technological Advances

Presidents Bush and Lula at Petrobras in Brazil The ethanol productive chain more than allowing the development of agriculture and of the sugar and alcohol industry, is also rich in information in other sectors. Several samples of technological advances may be seen at the 1st International Biofuels Exhibition, which takes place in the sidelines of the International Conference on Biofuels, in São Paulo.

Organized by the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil), the fair brings together producers of vehicles, makers of equipment for industry, fostering agencies, sector organizations, auto parts makers, banks, agricultural machinery producers and chemical and petrochemical industries, among others.

One of the novelties shown at the fair is the first dual fuel motorcycle designed by the Brazilian AME Amazonas, a company that up to the end of the 1980s produced a large motorcycle with a Volkswagen engine. With the dual fuel engine, the motorcycle may use gasoline, alcohol or any mixture of the two fuels.

According to a company representative, the engine was designed here, but is produced in China, and the motorcycle, when it starts being produced in commercial scale, should be assembled in Manaus, in the Amazon. It is medium sized, has a 300 cc engine and should cost 16,000 Brazilian reais (US$ 7,000).

Also exhibited are dual fuel cars produced by different carmakers, an ethanol fueled bus and the Ipanema, an Embraer aircraft for crop spraying that also runs on alcohol.

In the center of the exhibition there should also be an IndyCar racecar. In the 2009 season, Brazilian ethanol should be the official fuel of the category.

"New technologies and productivity are adopted in the entire chain," pointed out the chief of staff of Brazil, Dilma Roussef, who represented Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the opening of the event. "IndyCar racing shows the competitive use of ethanol," she added.

At the inauguration of the fair, there was time to celebrate the production of 7 million dual fuel cars in Brazil. Today, 90% of the vehicles produced in Brazil have flexible fuel engines and this year the consumption of ethanol in the country exceeded that of gasoline.

The exhibitors include Dedini, which makes mills for production of ethanol and develops machinery that use less and less water in the production of alcohol. According to Dilma, the company already has technology to assemble mills that even produce water at the end of the process.

Another company that is at the head of the sector is petrochemical company Braskem, which recently launched a plastic made from ethanol. According to the president at the Unica, Marcos Jank, over the next few years, 3 billion liters of alcohol should go to the production of plastics.

Anba

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