Tierramérica. Brazil is evaluating the possibility of increasing its current ethanol production by a factor of 12 from current levels to substitute for 10% of gasoline consumed worldwide.
A government study group convened to study the possibilities and impacts of a sharp increase in fuel alcohol production from sugarcane concluded that Brazil could produce 205 billion liters (54 billion gallons US) of ethanol by 2025, or about 50% of the world volume.
By then, the global demand for gasoline will reach 1.7 trillion liters [449 billion gallons US] a year, with a 48% increase predicted over two decades. In addition to 10% of that volume, Brazil will have to produce ethanol for its growing internal market. The country already has 2.6 million vehicles that run on alcohol, with the addition of two-thirds of the new cars manufactured here, which total more than two million a year.
The group, led by the Interdisciplinary Group for Energy Planning of Campinas University, predicts a 40% increase in ethanol yield per hectare of sugarcane due to the incorporation of cellulosic ethanol production techniques to use sugarcane bagasse as a feedstock. The United States and Brazil have agreed to cooperate in developing this approach.