Cop: Brazil pursues global ethanol expansion

  • Market: Biofuels
  • 04/12/23

Brazilian sugarcane industry association Unica and foreign trade agency ApexBrasil plan to invest R19.5mn ($3.9mn) to position ethanol as a key solution to decarbonize transportation globally and help countries reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Ethanol

can provide the most feasible route to the goal of phasing down fossil fuels, the groups said, and the two-year plan involves proving that to countries

in Latin America, Africa and southeast Asia.

In Brazil, most cars can run on hydrous ethanol, also known as the standalone E100 biofuel, or on a blend of gasoline with 27pc anhydrous (pure) ethanol.

The deal was signed on the sidelines of the UN Cop 28 climate summit being held in Dubai, according to a joint statement from the companies today.

"It may seem like a paradox that we are discussing decarbonization in Dubai," Unica president Evandro Gussi said. But doing so in the UAE, a major oil producer, is a signal of change to the world, he added.

The investment comes as participants in Brazil's ethanol industry are attempting to demystify beliefs about sustainability, especially the emerging "food versus fuel" debate in Europe.

The move also follows the launch of an India-US-Brazil biofuels alliance during the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, in September.

Brazil has developed a way to produce bioenergy that avoids deforestation and does not compete with food, Gussi said. "On the contrary, we recover degraded land and increase food supplies where we produce biofuel."

Brazil is the world's second-largest ethanol producer, having reached 31.2bn liters (537,649 b/d) in the 2022-23 harvest. Ethanol output in the country demands only 0.8pc of land area, with very low risk of deforestation and food competition.

Sugarcane is the country's main source of renewable energy, being responsible for 16pc of the energy matrix or 37pc of all renewable energy offered in Brazil, according to Unica. Furthermore, its ethanol emits around 90pc less CO2 than gasoline.


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