Brazil to Increase Mandatory Biodiesel Blend to 5% in 2010; Mandatory Emissions Testing for Vehicles
Effective January 2010, Brazilian diesel fuel vehicles will be required to run on a 5% biodiesel blend, up from 4% at present. The announcement was made last Friday by president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and is expected to raise biodiesel production levels to 2.4 billion liters (634 million gallons) in 2010.
Meeting the higher mandate will move Brazil to being the second-largest producer of biodiesel in the world, only behind Germany, according to Brazil’s Secretariat of Social Communication of the Republic. Currently, Brazil is fourth, with Germany, the US and France in the number 1, 2 and 3 positions respectively.
Biodiesel blends became mandatory in early 2008, quickly followed by a raise in blend levels from 2 to 3% in July of the same year and from 3 to 4% in 2009. The increase to 5% was originally planned for 2013.
The steadily increasing standard 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% mandate.
Our urban areas and highways will have cleaner fuel, which also creates jobs and generates income to the poor through family farming.
—Minister of Mines and Energy Edison Lobão
More than 90% 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.
Usage of biodiesel as a substitute to regular diesel is part of the Brazilian effort to tackle global warming and should reduce 62 million tons of CO2 emissions from 2008 to 2017, according to information in the National Plan on Climate Change.
Emissions testing. In another move to help curb automotive emissions and improve air quality in Brazilian cities, a new resolution approved last week by the National Environment Council has determined that vehicles will need to pass periodic emissions tests before license renewal.
States and municipalities with fleets of more than 3 million vehicles must develop environmental inspection plans aimed at identifying maintenance malfunctions and modifications that cause high levels of pollutants emissions in cars, trucks and motorcycles already in use, regardless of fuel type.
Local agencies now have 12 months to present Vehicle Pollution Control Plans targeting specific fleet groups, defining frequency and priority areas for inspection.