Already a world beater in ethanol use, Brazil is getting aggressive in the amount of biodiesel it will burn.
Right now, diesel users in the South American country are required to run on a 4 percent biodiesel blend. Last week, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva upped the ante to 5 percent by 2010… three years ahead of schedule. The jump in biodiesel use is expected to coincide with a rise in biodiesel production to 634 million gallons in 2010, cementing Brazil’s grip as the world’s leader in renewable energy use:
Biodiesel blends became mandatory in early 2008, quickly followed by a raise in blend levels from 2 to 3 percent in July of the same year and from 3 to 4 percent in 2009. The increase to 5 percent was originally planned for 2013. This has enabled a steady expansion of the Brazilian biodiesel market, with 43 plants operating today and production capacity currently at 3.6 billion liters (950 million gallons) per year, more than enough to supply the volume required by the 5 percent mandate.
”Our urban areas and highways will have cleaner fuel, which also creates jobs and generates income to the poor through family farming”, said minister of Mines and Energy Edison Lobão. More than 90 percent of the market has received the Social Fuel Label, a mechanism used by the federal government to ensure a joint participation by small farmers and agribusinesses in the biodiesel production chain.
The move is expected to save 62 million tons of carbon dioxide from going into the air between now and 2017.