Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP) and the Environmental Protection Technology Company (Cetesb), which is part of the government of the state of São Paulo, plan to study changes in the composition of the gasoline distributed in the country, in order to make it less polluting and harmful to human health.
The agreement, signed by the President of the Cetesb, Rubens Lara, and the Director-General of the ANP, Sebastião do Rego Barros, is initially slated to last five years.
According to Lara, the agreement between the two institutions “represents a technical and operational cooperation arrangement for the planning, environmental management, and environmental control and licensing of activities connected with the storage, distribution, and selective collection of products derived from petroleum.”
Studies will be conducted to determine the contribution of fuels to pollutant emissions. One of the main objectives is to reduce the concentration of olefins (alkenes) in gasoline.
Olefins are hydrocarbons that play a big role in ozone formation at low altitudes, which is extremely damaging to health. According to the Cetesb, 90 percent of pollution in the São Paulo metropolitan area is produced by automobiles.
On August 13, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took a drive in Brazil’s first multi-fuel car, an Astra Multipower 2.0 sedan, which can run on gasoline, alcohol, or any combination of the two, as well as natural gas.
According to minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan, the country is testing innovative technologies in the auto sector. First, the bi-fuel (gasoline and alcohol) vehicle, and now the multi-fuel.
“Our intention is to export this technology. We have had strong performance in vehicle exports, not just automobiles, but heavy vehicles and equipment,” said the Minister.
Furlan explained that the multi-fuel vehicle would probably be best employed in urban areas where the traffic is heavy and the optional use of natural gas would be pay off. He said the use of such vehicles could give the natural gas sector a boost.
Furlan said the Ministry of Finance was studying calls by the auto sector for reduced taxes on multi-fuel vehicles.