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Key factors of the Brazilian biofuel sector

Year: 2012 Author: Nieves Lopez Izquierdo
Brazil has gradually developed and established an ethanol industry and growing biodiesel sector, offering an example of how countries can develop ‘home-grown’ renewable energy sectors. This development has been facilitated by long-term policies to address the entire supply chain, including the introduction of ‘flex-fuel’ vehicles which run on any blend of petrol and ethanol. Social and environmental safeguards were developed to address concerns as they arose. The Social Fuel Seal, for example, encourages the economic integration of rural farmers into the biofuel sector, while land zoning provides a methodology for identifying suitable land areas for biofuel production without encroaching on land with high biodiversity. Efficiency improvements and integrated food energy systems (IFES) with sugarcane bagasse have also increased the productivity and efficiency of biofuels in Brazil. Finally, bagasse is increasingly used not only to supply the process energy for ethanol production plants, but also to supply electricity to communities near the plants.
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