Ethanol: US and EU Get on a Road Brazil Has Been for 20 Years

A sugarcane plantation in Brazil Brazilians may double or even triple their ethanol production over the next 15 years. However, this expansion is not infinite and needs to be executed in a planned and careful manner, in the evaluation of professor José Goldemberg, of the Electro-technique and Energy Institute at the University of São Paulo (USP) and former secretary of environment of São Paulo state.

Goldemberg supplied various figures about the matter. Brazil produces around 17 billion liters of fuel alcohol per year. According to him, this production reflects an economy of around 40% of the gasoline that would be used in the country if ethanol did not exist.

The specialist made these evaluations in a radio interview in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, March 7. He recalls that, apart from being an important product on the domestic market, ethanol has a very competitive price.

"The industry is entirely in the hands of the private initiative, and there is practically no subsidy to production of fuel alcohol, as there was in the past, making the product very competitive," he said.

For Goldemberg, the United States and Europe are following a route that Brazil has been on for over 20 years on introducing alcohol to gasoline, as an additive. The difference is that, in the case of the United States, ethanol is produced from corn, and in Europe the product is made from beetroot.

More Ethanol

The Infinity Bio-Energy group will invest 85 million reais (US$ 40,6 million) in expansion and modernization of the premises at its Alcana Alcohol Distillery in the city of Nanuque, in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.

The group bought the factory last year and plans on increasing the output, in three years, to 84 million liters of alcohol, 1.75 million bags of sugar, and 10 megawatts of energy per hour.

The expansion should be completed in 2009. The amount of milled sugar cane should increase from 545,000 tons per year to 1.5 million tons.

The forecasted revenue is of 153 million reais (US$ 73.2 million) from the third year of production onwards. The information was provided by the government of the southeastern state of Espí­rito Santo.

In addition to the expansion of Alcana, the Infinity group is contemplating the possibility of establishing two new plants in the region.

The group is currently increasing the production of a plant in Espí­rito Santo, and has established a partnership with the Itaúna Distillery S.A., with whom it is building a new unit, also in Espí­rito Santo, and has a project for building a plant in the state of Bahia (northeastern Brazil).


  • Show Comments (18)

  • Dely D

    Ethanol isn’t the eanswer either … maybe the brilliance claimed in this thread should go to work on it?
    The US has a part in the problems in the environment but so do any other countries that still use leaded fuel, wantonly cut down forest, use nuclear power, destroy habitat, have larger populations then their ecosystems can support, and those who selfishly use more resources then they need…that about covers just about all countries, even the small one! Even Brazil! The human race is a race of *takers* and until we learn to be *leavers*, there will always be a crisis and we’ll always find it easier to point fingers at some one else and excuse our own contributions to the issues.


  • Neither gringo not brazileiro

    Brazil 20 years ahead in technology
    I just attended the Agrocana and Conasucro fair in Ribeiro Preto, SP. Out of the several thousand people attending I could not find one American. In addition to their use of ethanol, Brazilians have develop incredible technology aroung this product. If yopu compare ethanol from sugar cane to ethanol from corn (see the latest issue of National Geographic) you will see that the energy output vs the energy input is a great deal better w sugar cane. The ethanol industry in the US is making the rich richer (read Archer Midland Co) (Conagra) and not helping the farmers or the environment. The whole thing is a political ‘a la Bush policy. I spent time in Lincoln, Nebraska talking to farmers and they are not to happy with their return for their investment and those folks having to feed their cattle will tell you that because so much corn is being diverted for ethanol production, they have to pay more for their feed . I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and there is not a E-85 pump withing 300 miles. (One was just installed by a little Cuban independent gas station owner. Their pumps are not even UL certified. So, let’s recognize the Brazilian effort and learn from them. I rather send my $ to Brazil than to Saudi Arabia and the other Arab countries who would love to destroy us and our economy.

  • bo

    [quote]eu gosto de ti, mas…
    written by nao importa, 2007-03-10 01:33:29

    a brasilian, teus comentarios geralmente sao bacanas, mas a do flex fuel, sei nÀƒ£o. melhor da uma conferida nas tuas fontes e mostrar elas aqui. Acho q foi a bosch na Alemanha mesmo q inventou o negÀƒ³cio. E eu to escrvendo em portugues pra nao correr o risco de te desmoralizar perante os gringo.[/quote]


    Do you think writing in portuguese is some “code” or something??? 😀

  • Ric

    4 tipos de usuÀƒ¡rio
    O pobre usa gasolina na kombi veya. No interior de bahia todo mundo usa gas butano inves de gsolina. Ainda compensa.
    Classe media baxia usa Flex. NÀƒ£o compensa mais concertar calhambeque, compra no consÀƒ³rcio, carro zerado, estalando como nem sapato novo.
    Quem pode, compra Diesel, ou seja, deesee. Corre na estrada como nem piÀƒ£o brabo, colocando todo mundo em risco, querendo sere aparecer.
    Rico mesmo compra carro importado de tresentos mil reais pra cima, ta nem ai quanto custa a gasolina, mas logo nossa gasolina estraga tudo por ser misturado com cachaÀƒ§a e os importados nÀƒ£o aguentam, passa muito tempo na oficina porque rico mesmo nÀƒ£o sabe fazer nada pr si mem. Bem feito, nÀƒ£o acha?

  • Ric

    nao importa
    NÀƒ£o se preomcupe, A brazilian nÀƒ£o vai ser desmoralizado perante os gringo, ele estÀƒ¡ fazendo um trabalho valioso, a questÀƒ£o nÀƒ£o tem muita importÀƒ¢ncia sendo que sÀƒ³ o Brasil tem o Flex operando e sÀƒ³ Brasil tem o etanol para usar a tecnologia, mas obrigado por ter pensado no bem-estar dele. A vida dele nÀƒ£o Àƒ© fÀƒ¡cil. Ais vez ele sente sÀƒ³ mas Àƒ© isso mem na grande luta.

  • A brazilian

    nao importa
    The technology is patented by Bosch but it was developed by brazilian engineers. But the point is that these gringos love to depreciate Brazil for whatever reason, even in those areas it deserves to be congrulated for. For example, it was brazilian initiative to have alternative fuels way back in the 70s, and much before that flex fuel existed there were cars that worked on ethanol only as you probably remember.

    So this question of alternative fuels is news for americans and europeans, definitely it’s not for us.

    I don’t know what is in the document is true, but it seems that the brazilian subsidiary of Bosch was the one interested in this, while the german Bosch wasn’t interested at all. So you see, let’s give credit for those that deserve it. [b]BRAZILIANS DESERVE THE CREDIT FOR IT[/b].


    [quote]BRITO CRUZ – A tecnologia flex fuel foi desenvolvida no Brasil, por engenheiros brasileiros, nos centros de pesquisas de empresas como a Bosch, a Magneti Marelli, a Delphi, a Ford, a Fiat, etc. Uma boa parte das patentes Àƒ©, portanto, brasileira. E as filiais fizeram isso contra a estratÀƒ©gia da matriz, que nÀƒ£o estava valorizando o assunto. Essas inovaÀƒ§Àƒµes criam oportunidades para o PaÀƒ­s.[/quote]

  • nao importa

    eu gosto de ti, mas…
    a brasilian, teus comentarios geralmente sao bacanas, mas a do flex fuel, sei nÀƒ£o. melhor da uma conferida nas tuas fontes e mostrar elas aqui. Acho q foi a bosch na Alemanha mesmo q inventou o negÀƒ³cio. E eu to escrvendo em portugues pra nao correr o risco de te desmoralizar perante os gringo.

  • A brazilian

    What a bunch of idiots. Give up, this is Brazil merit, our government saw what nobody else saw and it is a leader today in viable alternative fuels.

  • A brazilian

    [b]Who invented the wheel? Who invented the fire? Who invented the alphabet? who invented math? Surely it wasn’t an american, and without any of those things you would have nothing today.[/b]

  • Ric

    Who invented the computer? Because itÀ‚´s what makes Flex Fuel possible.

  • A brazilian

    [quote]Bosch has been awarded with the Brazilian Ministry for Science and TechnologyÀ¢€™s product innovation prize À¢€“ The À¢€˜Technological Innovation Finep AwardÀ¢€™ À¢€“ for the À¢€˜Flex FuelÀ¢€™ engine management system.[/quote]

    It was done in Brazil by brazilians. You are all pathetic.

  • Derik

    Very bright and helpfull comments I am sure Brazil does nothing to contribute to global warming. I am sure they do not pollute any thing at all and every factory in Brazil is clean as a whistle!! I am sure that is fact as well. We do need to change in America and in a big way. We should pass a law that if you sell gasoline in the US you need to have at least one ethanol pump as well. I can not understand why we pay tax dollars to farmers not to grow products on their land when they could be growing corn for ethanol? It really makes no sence at all and does show how corrupt our government is at the top level and hopefully we can make a change this go around but I am afraid no matter who we vote for big bussiness here is just to powerfull and nothing will change until the oil wells run dry.

  • Ric

    If alcohol is such a great deal, why make flex fuel cars at all? Cheaper to make them alcohol only, as in the past. But in most Brazilian locations, gasoline is cheaper per km than alcohol, yet taxed much more.

  • ch.c.

    However, this expansion is not infinite !!!!!
    Strange, this is not what many brazilians “experts* such as Lula and the Agriculture Minister said, in various articles published….on this site !

    And to the idiot Yanksuk : Yesssssss…you are right, Bill Gates, Paul Allen are……Brazilians !!!!!

    I dont know what you really mean by : THERE ARE MORE SCIENCE GRAD STUDENTS IN US UNIVERSITIES THAN AMERICANS. but in my view you better take the following statistic concerning the Universities students, from articles published on this site :
    – A Mere One-Quarter of Brazilians Are Fully Literate
    Written by Melina Fernandes
    Friday, 09 September 2005
    (I believe you are not one of them, in view of your writing)
    – Bad Schooling Keeps 15 Million Brazilian Students Overtime in School
    Written by VÀƒ­tor Abdala
    Thursday, 29 September 2005
    At least 15 million Brazilian youths should already have completed basic education, but they are unable to wrap up this stage of schooling due to the high failure and repetition rate in the country’s schools
    – Brazil’s Scientists Contribute a Mere 1.7% to World’s Academic Production
    Written by Carolina Pimentel
    Thursday, 17 November 2005
    Brazilian President Luiz InÀƒ¡cio Lula da Silva defended the importance of investments in education Brazil’s development and, therefore, asked the Congress to approve the Basic Education Maintenance and Development Fund (Fundeb) before the end of the year.

    – A Mere 10% of Brazilian Youths Go to College
    Written by Alessandra Bastos
    Wednesday, 04 January 2006

    – Lack of Skills Makes 60% of Brazilians Unemployable
    Written by Lourival MacÀƒªdo
    Friday, 02 December 2005
    Brazil’s Ministry of Labor says that one of the country’s serious development bottlenecks is the lack of skilled workers. Brazilian companies are turning away people because they cannot perform certain tasks.

    Thus your sources are more than doubtful ! Please be more specific…Master !

    Ohhhh and concerning the percentage of people going to University :
    – Brazil 10,5 %
    – South Korea 86,5 %

    Which further confirm my doubts about your affirmations !
    And to what University did you go ? Street school ?

    da Oliveira WHERE ARE YOU ?????? No comment on yankssuk assertions ?????

    And to a Brazilian : I suggest you to surf the Net to find out that it is not Brazil who invented ethanol ! It was invented over 1 century ago !
    The first Ford cars used ethanol……Buddddy !
    Brazil was the first to use it in large scale , but i was a TOTAL FAILURE…if you read your own recent history. So m uch that by 2002 less than 2 % OF YOUR CARS RUN ON ETHANOL !!!!!

    And it came back in 2003 not because of Brazilian technological prowess, but simply because BOSCH a GERMAN company invented the flex fuel engine technology !!!!!! Otherwise should had BOSCH not invented it, you would have not been able to have such technology….by definition !

    Please please idiot dont ask for evidence, because here it is, award given TO BOSCH BY YOUR GOVERNMENT !!!!!!!!!!!
    Bosch has been awarded with the Brazilian Ministry for Science and TechnologyÀ¢€™s product innovation prize À¢€“ The À¢€˜Technological Innovation Finep AwardÀ¢€™ À¢€“ for the À¢€˜Flex FuelÀ¢€™ engine management system. The award-winning Flex Fuel technology, developed by Bosch, enables vehicles to be fuelled by petrol, alcohol or a mixture of the two. Dr Bernd Bohr, Chairman of the Bosch Automotive Group commented À¢€œWe are particularly pleased by the award, because it acknowledges our strategy for developing clean, resource-conserving technologies for every region in the world.À¢€Â

    Thus your stupid and erroneous comments would have been far more difficult….IF I would have asked you for evidence !!!!!

    Enjoy your 2 rice grains….in your brains !!!!!

  • yankssuk

    Dear Doggy Daddy
    Since when has an American company invented ANYTHING!!! THERE ARE MORE FUCKING BRAZILIANS AT MICROSOFT THAN AMERICANS!!!!!

    FUCKING FACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • A brazilian

    Doggy Daddy is a retart
    [quote]Monsanto built the research center 20 years ago at the Unicamp University campus in Campinas SP and after THEY developed the tecnology they donated the center to the university. It’s a fact folks !!![/quote]

    20 years ago? Funny, take a look at this from [url][/url]:

    With the 1973 oil crisis the Brazilian government, then run by the general EmÀƒ­lio Garrastazu MÀƒ©dici, initiated in 1975 the PrÀƒ³-ÀƒÂlcool program.

    The PrÀƒ³-ÀƒÂlcool or Programa Nacional do ÀƒÂlcool (National Alcohol Program) was a nation-wide program financed by the government to phase out all automobile fuels derived from fossil fuels (such as gasoline) in favour of ethanol. It began with the anhydrous alcohol to blend with the gasoline. This mixture has been used since then and is now done with 24% of alcohol and 76% gasoline. The program successfully reduced by 10 million the number of cars running on gasoline in Brazil, thereby reducing the country’s dependence on oil imports.

    The decision to produce ethanol from fermented sugarcane was based on the low cost of sugar at the time. Other sources of fermentable carbohydrates were tested such as the manioc.

    1975 isn’t 20 years ago. Another pathetic attempt from an american bigot to diminish Brazil. Brazil developed this technology and became the first country in the world with a viable alternative for oil. Those are facts.

  • yankssuk

    STOP GLOBAL WARMING……………….KILL AN AMERICAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

  • Doggy Daddy

    Monsanto built the research center 20 years ago at the Unicamp University campus in Campinas SP and after THEY developed the tecnology they donated the center to the university. It’s a fact folks !!!

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