<body> --------------
Contact Us       Consulting       Projects       Our Goals       About Us
home » Archive »
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    Energy giants BP and China National Petroleum Corp, the PRC's biggest oil producer, are among the companies that are in talks with Guangxi Xintiande Energy Co about buying a stake in the southern China ethanol producer to expand output. Xintiande Energy currently produces ethanol from cassava. ChinaDaily - March 16, 2007.

    Researchers at eTEC Business Development Ltd., a biofuels research company based in Vienna, Austria, have devised mobile facilities that successfully convert the biodiesel by-product glycerin into electricity. The facilities, according to researchers, will provide substantial economic growth for biodiesel plants while turning glycerin into productive renewable energy. Biodiesel Magazine - March 16, 2007.

    Ethanol Africa, which plans to build eight biofuel plants in the maize belt, has secured funding of €83/US$110 million (825 million Rand) for the first facility in Bothaville, its principal shareholder announced. Business Report - March 16, 2007.

    A joint venture between Energias de Portugal SGPS and Altri SGPS will be awarded licences to build five 100 MW biomass power stations in Portugal's eastern Castelo Branco region. EDP's EDP Bioelectrica unit and Altri's Celulose de Caima plan to fuel the power stations with forestry waste material. Total investment on the programme is projected at €250/US$333 million with 800 jobs being created. Forbes - March 16, 2007.

    Indian bioprocess engineering firm Praj wins €11/US$14.5 million contract for the construction of the wheat and beet based bio-ethanol plant for Biowanze SA in Belgium, a subsidiary of CropEnergies AG (a Sudzucker Group Company). The plant has an ethanol production capacity of 300,000 tons per year. IndiaPRWire - March 15, 2007.

    Shimadzu Scientific Instruments announced the availability of its new white paper, “Overview of Biofuels and the Analytical Processes Used in their Manufacture.” The paper is available for free download at the company’s website. The paper offers an overview of the rapidly expanding global biofuel market with specific focus on ethanol and biodiesel used in auto transportation. It provides context for these products within the fuel market and explains raw materials and manufacturing. Most important, the paper describes the analytical processes and equipment used for QA testing of raw materials, in-process materials, and end products. BusinessWire - March 15, 2007.

    Côte d'Ivoire's agriculture minister Amadou Gon has visited the biofuels section of the Salon de l'Agriculture in Paris, one of the largest fairs of its kind. According to his communication office, the minister is looking into drafting a plan for the introduction of biofuels in the West African country. AllAfrica [*French] - March 13, 2007.

    Biofuels and bioenergy producers in Ireland, a country which just recently passed bioenergy legislation, are allocated excise relief for imported biomass. Unison Ireland (subscription req'd). - March 13, 2007.

    EDF Energies Nouvelles, a subsidiary of energy giant Electricité de France, has announced a move into biofuels, by sealing a preliminary agreement with Alcofinance SA of Belgium. Upon completion of a reserved issue of shares for €23 million, EDF Energies Nouvelles will own 25% of a newly formed company housing Belgium-based Alcofinance's ethanol production and distribution activities. Alcofinance's projects are located in the Ghent Bioenergy Valley. BusinessWire - March 13, 2007.

    Fuel Tech, Inc., today announced a demonstration order for its 'Targeted In-Furnace Injection' program, part of a set of technologies aimed at controlling slagging, fouling, corrosion, opacity and acid plume problems in utility scale boilers. The order was placed by an electric generating facility located in Italy, and will be conducted on two biomass units burning a combination of wood chips and olive husks. BusinessWire - March 9, 2007.

    At a biofuels conference ahead of the EU's Summit on energy and climate change, Total's chief of agricultural affairs says building environmentally friendly 'flexible-fuel' cars only cost an additional €200 (US$263) a vehicle and that, overall, ethanol is cheaper than gasoline. MarketWatch - March 8, 2007.

    During a session of Kazakhstan's republican party congress, President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced plans to construct two large ethanol plants with the aim to produce biofuels for exports to Europe. Company 'KazAgro' and the 'akimats' (administrative units) of grain-growing regions will be charged to develop biodiesel, bioethanol and bioproducts. KazInform - March 6, 2007.

    Saab will introduce its BioPower flex-fuel options to its entire 9-3 range, including Sport Sedan, SportCombi and Convertible bodystyles, at the Geneva auto show. GreenCarCongress - March 2, 2007.

    British oil giant BP plans to invest around US$50 million in Indonesia's biofuel industry, using jatropha oil as feedstock. BP will build biofuel plants with an annual capacity of 350,000 tons for which it will need to set up jatropha curcas plantations covering 100,000 hectares of land, to guarantee supply of feedstock, an official said. Antara [*cache] - March 2, 2007.

    The government of Taiwan has decided to increase the acreage dedicated to biofuel crops -- soybean, rape, sunflower, and sweet potato -- from 1,721 hectares in 2006 to 4,550 hectares this year, the Council of Agriculture said. China Post - March 2, 2007.

    Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has announced plans to invest up to €76/US$100 million to expand its terminal facilities to help serve the growing biodiesel market. KMP has entered into long-term agreements with Green Earth Fuels, LLC to build up to 1.3 million barrels of tankage that will handle approximately 8 million barrels of biodiesel production at KMP's terminals on the Houston Ship Channel, the Port of New Orleans and in New York Harbor. PRNewswire - March 1, 2007.

    A project to build a 130 million euro ($172 million) plant to produce 200,000 cubic metres of bioethanol annually was announced by three German groups on Tuesday. The plant will consume about 600,000 tonnes of wheat annually and when operational in the first half of 2009 should provide about a third of Germany's estimated bioethanol requirements. Reuters - Feb. 27, 2007.

    Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs has announced that government vehicles in Taipei City will begin using E3 fuel, composed of 97% gasoline and 3% ethanol, on a trial basis in 2007. Automotive World - Feb. 27, 2007.

    Spanish company Ferry Group is to invest €42/US$55.2 million in a project for the production of biomass fuel pellets in Bulgaria. The 3-year project consists of establishing plantations of paulownia trees near the city of Tran. Paulownia is a fast-growing tree used for the commercial production of fuel pellets. Dnevnik - Feb. 20, 2007.

    Hungary's BHD Hõerõmû Zrt. is to build a 35 billion Forint (€138/US$182 million) commercial biomass-fired power plant with a maximum output of 49.9 MW in Szerencs (northeast Hungary). Portfolio.hu - Feb. 20, 2007.

    Tonight at 9pm, BBC Two will be showing a program on geo-engineering techniques to 'save' the planet from global warming. Five of the world's top scientists propose five radical scientific inventions which could stop climate change dead in its tracks. The ideas include: a giant sunshade in space to filter out the sun's rays and help cool us down; forests of artificial trees that would breath in carbon dioxide and stop the green house effect and a fleet futuristic yachts that will shoot salt water into the clouds thickening them and cooling the planet. BBC News - Feb. 19, 2007.

    Archer Daniels Midland, the largest U.S. ethanol producer, is planning to open a biodiesel plant in Indonesia with Wilmar International Ltd. this year and a wholly owned biodiesel plant in Brazil before July, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The Brazil plant is expected to be the nation's largest, the paper said. Worldwide, the company projects a fourfold rise in biodiesel production over the next five years. ADM was not immediately available to comment. Reuters - Feb. 16, 2007.

Creative Commons License

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Of satellites and sugar: extra notes on the Brazilian revolution

We wish to present some interesting new facts on Brazil's ethanol sector, as they are presented in the excellent documentary titled "Biocarburants: la révolution brésilienne"/"Sprit aus Zucker", made by Pierre-Olivier François and Christian Popp. The film was recently shown on ARTE (earlier post). Because the TV-channel has decided not to release an online version, we transcribed and translated some highlights.

Magical yeast: towards decentralised production
We start with a development that is most remarkable, because it is set to transform the ethanol industry by allowing a move towards highly efficient, small-scale and decentralised production, away from large industrial production systems that are only open to big investors.

Cristiano Santo Waldisser, engineer at a large ethanol plant, takes us through the classic ethanol production process: he shows how yeast feeds on the sugar juice and ferments it into alcohol, CO2 and water, which are recuperated by the washing columns. After this fermentation stage, water and yeast are separated from the ethanol. This requires an infrastructure of centrifuges (to sieve out the fermentation residues) and of distillation columns, in which water is removed by evaporation. This straightforward process consumes only 1/8th of the energy needed to distill gasoline from crude oil, says Waldisser.

But biotechnologists from the State University of São Paulo (Unicamp) have found a new processing technique, which makes the distillation of ethanol far more efficient and less costly still. The technique will be revolutionising the decentralised production of ethanol.

Gonçalo Amarante Pereira [picture], biologist at Unicamp: "we developed a genetically modified yeast strain which separates itself from the mixture once it detects an absence of sugar. In other words, when all sugar juice has been fermented into ethanol, the yeast literally drops to the bottom of the tank, and the pure ethanol floats on top ready to be distilled. This completely eliminates the need for industrial centrifuges, lowers production costs significantly, reduces the energy inputs needed for decanting the ethanol, and thus increases the fuel's final energy balance."

More importantly, Pereira notes, this development signifies that everyone can now have his own small ethanol factory. There is no longer a need for large and costly industrial infrastructures. The new yeast makes highly efficient small-scale, localised and decentralised ethanol production possible. The development is being received with great enthusiasm, because it entirely eliminates the need for isolated regions to transport and import costly fossil fuels. The decentralised production technique holds the potential to transform the Global South's energy landscape radically.

Fatih Birol, Chief economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA), explains the importance of this development: "Poor countries in the South need biofuels even more than wealthy ones, because their economies suffer under high fuel import bills. This fragilises developing countries, especially in Africa, where funds that could otherwise be invested in urgently needed interventions, such as the construction of new infrastructures, investments in education, health and poverty alleviation, are now poured into imports of expensive fossil fuels."

"The Brazilian technologies can be introduced in these countries and adapted to local conditions. The highly efficient and decentralised production process, resulting in biofuels that are considerably cheaper than imported petrofuels, thus reduces their import bills and their energy dependence. After all, this is precisely the reason why Brazil invested in the sector itself, after the first oil shock, when it launched its famous Pro-Alcool plan."

Of satellites and sugar
The documentary also shows us how the sugarcane industry in Brazil relies on careful planning. Nilson Zaramella Boeta, chief scientist at the Sugar Cane Technology Center (CTC) shows how agronomists and scientists work with earth observation satellites. The satellites track each sugarcane plantation, the qualities of which can be observed in great detail. This allows for very precise agronomic interventions.

Sitting in front of a large monitor with a high resolution map of a set of plantations, Boeta illustrates how observed biomass yield data can be correlated to a myriad of factors (soil quality, pests, diseases...). Spotting sugarcane from space allows for a highly targetted agriculture, in which sugarcane varieties can be precisely matched to different soils. By comparing the performance of a cane variety across different soils, clues are obtained that inform breeding programs for new varieties. And farmers can make much better decisions on which type to plant where, how much and what kind of fertiliser and pesticide must be applied to which plot, with an unparalleled precision.

Hermógenes Moura Machado, earth observation engineer at the CTC gives an example of how the eye in the sky contributes to efficient pest, disease and soil management. Satellite images of a new plantation started showing a small bright patch in the center of the field after the second year of planting - this indicated low yields. The rest of the plantation performed well. The CTC then sent the information to its field engineers who analysed the problem on the ground. They found an anomaly in the soil and treated the spot with a tiny but highly concentrated dose. The problem disappeared the next year. This kind of extremely focused interventions allows Brazilian producers to economize greatly on the product, to reduce costs, and to preserve the environment because only the problematic hotspots are treated instead of the entire plantation. The spread of diseases, pests and soil degradation is prevented early on.

Earth observation not only allows for highly rational and efficient planning for farmers. It is also a great tool for those who are developing new sugarcane varieties. Tadeu Andrade, agronomist and soil scientist at the CTC, shows how two types of soil were identified in a single plantation area. One, very fertile, will produce vast quantities of cane naturally, the other one is more problematic. Using satellite data, the soil scientists check the extensive library of cane varieties and determine which one suits which soil type best. This adaptative planting is pushed forward into the extreme: some plantations have many different cane varieties in a single field, all adapted to the highly localized qualities of the soil. This form of adaptation sidesteps the need for general soil treatments and thus increases the sustainability of the plantation. The result: the plantation with its different soils in Tadeu Andrade's example now maximizes yields, with an average production of to 120MT/ha.

The CTC's plant breeding division aims to select varieties that are suitable for different, even poor, soil types and which need less water. Currently, it relies on classic plant breeding principles, that have proved to be quite successful. Standing in a vast greenhouse with cane seedlings, a CTC agronomist explains that plants are selected visually first. The most promising ones are then grown in trial plots, with each variety being tested in different types of soils and under different growing conditions. The most successful ones are then homologated and commercialised. Over the past 4 years, the CTC has analysed hundreds of varieties this way and selected 9 ultra-high-yield varieties suitable for different soil types.

Towards hyper-efficiency with bagasse and cellulosic ethanol

In many plantations, the traditional practise of burning the sugarcane's leaves, tips and stalks before the harvest, continues to this very day. Even though the resulting ashes contain nutrients which fertilize the soil, the practise of burning cane fields pollutes the atmosphere, and wastes a valuable source of energy. For this reason, the tradition is being discouraged and a new paradigm is taking hold:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

The agricultural and processing residues of sugarcane are now seen as a biomass resource of prime importance because it outcompetes fossil fuels, even the cheapest amongst them, namely coal. In most ethanol plants, bagasse - the fibrous residue remaining after the canes are crushed - is now burned in cogeneration plants that generate energy which powers the entire production process. In fact, bagasse has a high calorific value and is so abundant that ethanol plants have become power plants in themselves. The average plant in Brazil delivers enough electricity to the grid to power a city of 60,000 people.

Nowadays, all ethanol factories in Brazil are self-sufficient in energy, and together they produce an amount of electricity equal to that of a large nuclear power plant. In the immediate future, this amount will increase ten-fold.

The use of bagasse makes the energy balance of Brazilian ethanol quite strong. But things don't stop here. A new vision and increased research efforts will double the efficiency of ethanol once again. The code-word: cellulosic ethanol.

Technological advancements will make it possible to convert the cellulose-rich vegetal residues of sugarcane that are currently wasted, into liquid fuels. The document takes us to Dedini, the company which has manufactured the bulk of Brazil's 346 biofuel refineries.

José Luiz Olivério, Vice-President of Dedini SA, explains that today, only 1/3rd of all the harvestable energy contained in sugarcane is used. The other two thirds are just begging to be utilised efficiently. Besides producing bio-electricity, Dedini wants to make bio-ethanol from the cellulosic biomass that is untapped. The efficient production of cellulosic ethanol from cane residues will lead to an energy system with an unparalleled efficiency. Whereas today one hectare of sugarcane is transformed into 6400 liters of ethanol on average, the emergence of cellulosic ethanol will allow the production of not less than 12000 liters.

This means that producing transport fuels from sugarcane becomes more efficient than oil production. What is more, agronomic and biotechnological progress will lead to even better sugarcane varieties, higher yields and far lower processing costs (see the genetically modified yeast strain which removes the need for centrifugation). All realistic assessments show that, ultimately, sugarcane will become the core around which an entire bio-based economy will be build. This green economy will be hyper-efficient, yield fuels with a better energy balance than those of the petroleum industry, and will result in the manufacture of many different, environmentally friendly products, such as bioplastics.

Dedini has already begun its first cellulose ethanol production trials utilizing the bagasse, stems, tips and leaves of sugarcane. Olivério thinks large-scale, industrial production is 10 to 20 years away. Reflecting on his role as an industrialist, he ends with a wise note: "in the end, it is not the industrialists who bring all this wealth. It is nature and the farmers. Our role is simply to make sure we do not waste this valuable resource."

The people who will actually make the breakthrough in cellulosic ethanol can be found in the laboratories. Gonçalo Amarante Pereira, biologist at Unicamp: "We are looking into creating enzymes that break down cellulose and release sugars that can then be fermented into ethanol. We have identified serveral such enzymes from micro-organisms that can be found, for example, in the guts of termites. These insects are known for their capacity to turn even the hardest type of ligno-cellulosic biomass into sugar-rich pulp. By identifying the enzymes responsible for this process, we can begin to develop specific types suitable for cellulosic ethanol production."

Flex-fuel technologies
The irony of history: before becoming the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva used to be a worker at the very Volkswagen factory that built the first production flex-fuel vehicle which transformed Brazil's energy landscape.

Roger Guilherme of VW Brasil explains the history behind this development. When oil prices declined in the 1990s, consumers stopped buying ethanol. But from 2000 onwards, when gasoline prices increased again, they were once more demanding the biofuel. However, they were not interested in buying a car that works on ethanol or gasoline only - they wanted both, they demanded flexibility, the option to choose their own blend of fuels according to current prices for both fuels, and each time they fill their tank. The concept of the flex-fuel engine allowed precisely that, and sales skyrocketed. 80% of all petrol cars sold in Brazil today are flex-fuel. All 7 large auto-manufacturers make them.

The flex-fuel system is based on a simple electronic device that measures the alcohol-gasoline ratio of the blend in the tank. The system then calculates the optimal operation of the engine by regulating the injection, the combustion and the oxygen intake according to the blend. This 'intelligent' system monitors the engine's performance every 10 milliseconds.

The added costs for the flex-fuel injection system and the on-board computer are negligeable.

A green and red revolution
Christian Sobottka, chief engineer of fuel systems at Bosch's automotive technology division, makes a philosophical observation: "the definition of the word revolution is the transformation of the status quo into a radically new paradigm, by the simplest means possible. The confluence of simplicity and radicality do the trick. In this sense, Brazil's biofuels represent a genuine revolution."

And it is a green revolution, he adds. The use of Brazilian ethanol lowers both NOx and carbon monoxide emissions, and is climate-neutral when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions, because the CO2 coming out of the tailpipe of an ethanol-powered car is taken up again through the sugarcane's photosynthesis.

Finally, it is a social revolution, because the affordable fuel, which is consistently cheaper than gasoline, has led to a true democratisation of mobility in Brazil. The document shows three poor people who use 100% ethanol in their unadapted, 20-year old cars. The savings they make are quite important, relative to their income level.

Social and environmental sustainability
The film addresses some of the crucial environmental and social aspects of the biofuel industry in Brazil. It starts by looking at the labor issue. Two out of three sugarcane plantations in Brazil are still harvested manually. But mechanisation is increasingly taking over. An single harvesting machine has the productivity of 50 workers. This opens a serious dilemma and exposes a weakness of the Brazilian ethanol sector.

The sugarcane industry employs millions of cutters who used to receive low wages and who perform a job that is very hard and often dangerous. The document shows a group of cutters who talk about their fate.

On the one hand, the leftist government of Brazil has implemented legislation which improves the working conditions and safety of the cane cutters considerably, strengthens their syndical rights, and has made social dialogue between company and workers compulsory. Finally, the Lula-government has increased wages for the migrant laborers and has introduced a registration system that prevents cutters from being exploited by employers.

But on the other hand, at the very moment labor rights and working conditions are undergoing a revolution, increased mechanisation is threatening these achievements.

Fatih Birol, Chief economist of the IEA, takes a global perspective and addresses the food versus fuel dilemma. To make biofuels work on a global scale, he says, strong political control and a new economic paradigm is needed. The countries in the North want to replicate Brazil's example, but they can never achieve the same efficiencies. This means they are using land to grow biofuel crops that would better be utilized for food production. On a planetary scale, biofuels can only be produced efficiently in the tropical and subtropical latitudes.

A new energy relationship between nations is therefor needed that must be based on these fundamental and unchangeable parameters of the planet's ecosystem. Countries with temperate climates but favorable conditions for food production should invest in the food sector and import biofuels from the countries with tropical climates. In the US, maize is used for the production of ethanol with a very low energy bilan. But maize is a staple food for many people. Wouldn't it be better for the US to supply food markets with maize, and import far more efficient ethanol from the developing world with the proceeds? Both parties would greatly benefit.

Nilson Zaramella Boeta from the CTC highlights the strict environmental policy choices made by the Brazilian government. He explains that, originally, the semi-arid Nordeste is the birth place of sugarcane in Brazil. It was later brought to the humid climate of the South. "Today we have a policy in which we automatically exclude the Amazon, the Pantanal and the Atlantic natural reserves from future sugarcane expansions. Automatically excluded. We only keep zones that are suitable for sugarcane and that are relatively low in biodiversity."

"Compared to Europe and the US, Brazil has quasi-infinite arable land available for the expansion of its plantations. Without touching the rainforest or the natural reserves, the country can expand the acreage for sustainably exploited sugarcane plantations by an area 6 times that of France (or 330 million hectares) . In other words, Brazil can produce 60 times more ethanol than it does today, in an environmentally sustainable manner."

[Note: we think this is a very optimistic assessment. If Brazil were actually to utilize 330 million hectares with an average projected yield of 12000 liters of ethanol per hectare, this would roughly equal an output of 3.96 trillion liters per year, or 47.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. More than four times the amount of oil produced by Saudi Arabia... We have seen many estimates of Brazil's sustainable potential for the medium and long term future, but none are this high.]

The bulk of sugarcane is currently gorwn in São Paulo state, in the South-east of Brazil. The total acreage is around 5.5 million hectares or 0.6% of the country's territory. The country produces some 16 billion liters per annum. A comparison between European ethanol made from sugar beets and ethanol made from sugarcane shows that the competitive advantage is exceptional: the first type of fuel costs around €0.80 per liter, whereas sugarcane ethanol costs €0.20 per liter.

This lower cost and the much higher efficiency of Brazilian ethanol is due to exceptional yields of the sugarcane plant, but also because of large investments in science, technology and careful planning.

A problem with biofuel production in Europe and the US is the environmentally unfriendly way in which it is produced. By 2010, the EU wants to increase its consumption of biofuels six-fold. But this requires 20% of all arable land in the EU to be converted into biofuel plantations that yield relatively low amounts of energy. To make the best of it, a serious increase in the use of pesticides and fertilisers will be needed.

Organic ethanol
Tadeu Andrade, agronomist CTC: "Brazil is now going beyond these problems by opening yet another new avenue: organic ethanol production. We are now researching ways to reduce the amount of fertilisers and pesticides for sugarcane to levels that would qualify its production as 'organic'."

Andrade: "We have already found biological pest management techniques that effectively remove the need for pesticides entirely. The main threat to sugarcane comes from the stem-borer, which lays its larves inside the canes where they feed on the sugar to grow. This pest used to be fought by heavy pesiticide applications. But we have now developed a biological pest management system based on natural predators which efficiently combat the problem."

"Similarly, research into the production of bio-fertilisers derived from the ashes from burned bagasse and fermentation residues, is progressing well. We can use residues from the cane as fertiliser, simply because the plant yields so much biomass. Developing such a system by relying on crops grown in Europe and the US is not feasible."

Finally, Andrade notes that more than 2000 sugarcane varieties have been domesticated by man over the course of centuries: "This large library allows us to select and breed varieties that are adapted to poorer soils and climates, where we can still obtain good yields if we use an entirely organic production system."

Making the world sweeter with GMOs?
Glaucia M. Souza, biochemist at the University of São Paulo: "Whereas one research direction in Brazil is focusing on the potential for organic bioenergy production, researchers at Unicamp are looking into genetically modifying sugarcane."

"During its long history of domestication, crossing and breeding, sugarcane varieties have become sweeter and sweeter. The reason behind this phenomenon is the big mystery that occupies the minds of the scientists here at Unicamp."

They are trying to find out which specific gene is responsible for the ever higher sugar-content of sugarcane. They have selected 100 genes and introduced them into other plants to study their effects. If the magic 'saccharose-gene' were to be identified, the scientists see a future in which it is introduced it into a wide variety of crops, including maize and oranges.

Glaucia M. Souza says that, "ultimately, if societies choose so, we can create a very sweet world. The sweetness of sugar will lead us to abandon the climate destructive hydrocarbon era and open that of the carbohydrate [sugar] economy."

The vision of a transgenic, sweet world is of course highly controversial, both in Brazil and in Europe. But the pressure coming from large biotech conglomerates is great and the battles will have to be decided in parliaments...

The film's second part delves into Brazil's recently launched ProBiodiesel program. It shows how the government is implementing a policy promoting integrated food-and-fuel production amongst small farmers in Brazil's most impoverished regions. A pilot project is highlighted in which a cooperative of smallholders in the Nordeste province grows biodiesel feedstocks for Petrobras, and is assisted with food production to increase both its food and income security.

The national ProBiodiesel program draws on the vast experience gained from the ProAlcool plan which is more than 3 decades old. The Lula government is turning the new program into an opportunity to experiment and open the last frontier of the biofuel future: the potential it holds to redistribute wealth amongst Brazil's and the developing world's rural poor.

Brazil is already gazing across the Atlantic, where it sees Africa, beckoning...


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home