Brazil and the United States are working together to create a global standard for ethanol, according to information supplied by the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.
Both countries want to create standard certifications for the product to become a commodity and be traded on the futures market.
The idea is to define, for example, how much the product may have in terms of residues and how pure it should be, among other characteristics, to be accepted as ethanol.
Brazil produces ethanol from sugarcane and the United States from maize. Together, both countries are responsible for 70% of the global ethanol production.
The minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan, believes that the understanding between both countries, the greatest players in this market, is going to create a standard that will end up becoming global.
North Americans and Brazilians started discussing the matter in September last year, in a meeting in Brazil, and after that, in November, in the United States, according to information supplied by the Ministry of Development.
On the Brazilian side, the talks are being led by the National Institute of Metrology, Standardization and Industrial Quality (Inmetro), whereas in the United States, they are in the hands of the NIST, a similar organization in the country.
Each of the organizations is currently, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, defining what ethanol is.
The cooperation between both countries, in the area of ethanol, is the subject of a visit that the US undersecretary for Political Affairs, Nicholas Burns, is making to the country.
In a meeting with José Serra, governor of the state of São Paulo, in southeast of Brazil, they discussed the matter. The undersecretary defended a strategic partnership between both countries in the area.
Burns also discussed the theme with the minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim. According to Brazilian newspapers, Brazil and the United States have decided to pick a country in Central America in which to develop a pilot project for the replacement of oil for ethanol. The plan will continue being formatted by both countries.
The minister of Agriculture, Luís Carlos Guedes Pinto, also announced a 10% increase in the Brazilian production of ethanol in 2007. It is currently 16 billion liters. According to Guedes, this production should double in ten years.
According to Furlan, also in the area of biodiesel, talks are being developed for global standardization. In this case, however, the talks are with Europe, which, like Brazil, makes the product.
According to him, the talks began with Germany and France, producers of biodiesel. But these talks are at an earlier stage. Even within Europe, according to the minister, there is not yet a standard.
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