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Brazil’s Path to Ethanol

The BBC takes a succinct retrospective look at the “rise, fall and rise” of ethanol in Brazil.

In the mid-1980s - before any other country even thought of the idea - Brazil succeeded in mass-producing biofuel for motor vehicles: alcohol, derived from its plentiful supplies of sugar-cane.

Differently-powered cars were actually in the majority on Brazil's roads at the time, marking a major technological feat.

But the programme that had put the country so far ahead was very nearly consigned to history when oil prices slid back from high levels seen in the 1970s.

Alcohol-powered cars fell out of favour and languished in obscurity until last year, when production picked up again in a big way.

[...] Brazil’s state-run alcohol fuel programme was set up for patriotic, not financial or environmental reasons. The military government that ran the country from 1964 to 1985 wanted to reduce its dependence on Middle Eastern petroleum during the 1970s oil crisis.

[...] As a result, in 1985 and 1986, more than 75% of all motor vehicles produced in Brazil - and more than 90% of cars - were designed for alcohol consumption.

But then it all went wrong.

[...] A new generation of alcohol-powered cars entered production in Brazil in 2003, after the government decided that cars capable of burning ethanol should be taxed at 14%, instead of 16% for their exclusively petrol-powered counterparts.

Unlike earlier models, these are “flex-fuel” cars—equally happy with pure alcohol, pure petrol, or any blend of the two.  In 2004, the first full year that flex-fuel cars were on sale, they accounted for more than 17% of the Brazilian market, and are on course for an even bigger share this year.

A good quick backgrounder, and worth reading in its entirety.

(A hat-tip to Robert S.!)

Comments

Joe

if Brazil can put cars on the road that run on 100% ethyl alcohal, why can't we?

Muhammad Faizan Ali

Dear Sir / Madam,

We offer Food Grade Ethyl Alcohol available here at Pakistan at very reasonable price.

Please feel free to contact us for your questions and any inquiry. info@helioscorp.net

Best Regards,

Muhammad Faizan Ali
HELIOS Corporation (Pvt.) Limited
347-B, Faisal Town, Lahore, Pakistan.

Tel: + 92 42 5166588
Fax: + 92 42 5166334
Cell: + 92 345 4180866
Web: www.helioscorp.net

Nicole Dominique

What are your world prices for Bulk Ethyl Alcohol - Beverage Grade 95.5% alcohol by volume.

d.s.chatha

We require 10,000 M.T. Ethanol 99.5% fuel grade(made from sugar). Offers are invited from manufacturers in Brazil,USA,Canda and Australia.
LC can be opened immeidately if price is competitive.
We accept May/June/July,'006 deliveries.
D.S.CHATHA
MANDEV ENTERPRISES
Tel:91-22-56231514
Bombay(India)

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