Brazilian bus company Viação Itaim Paulista (VIP) has begun powering a fleet of 1,880 buses in São Paulo, South America’s largest city, with a blend of 30% biodiesel, 8% ethanol and 62% petroleum diesel.
The fuel was developed as part of joint effort between B100—a company created by VIP to research alternative fuels—and Petrobras, Brazil’s state-run oil company. VIP estimates that it will consume 6 million liters (1.6 million gallons US) of the mixture monthly.
VIP is the first Brazilian bus company to use the ethanol-B30 mixture, and for the time being, the only one authorized to use it in the country. However, the partners expect that consumption will increase to 144 million liters per month (38 million gallons US) in two years.
The biodiesel used in the B30 is uses soy, mamona, sunflower or dendê for feedstock. B100 (the company) took two years to develop the composition of the mixture, in partnership with the National Institute of Tecnologia (INT).
The use of multiple feedstocks will enable more stable pricing, as the producers can use the feedstock currently in greater supply at lesser cost.
Brazil will start requiring that biodiesel be added to regular diesel at a rate of 2% in 2008. By the year 2013, trucks will have to run on 5% biodiesel.
US company O2Diesel has begun testing an e-diesel/B20 biodiesel blend. The addition of ethanol to diesel lowers the pour point (the temperature at which the fuel begins to gel). (Earlier post.)