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Biofuels in Brazil: An Overview


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 47 No. 6, p. 2228-2237
    Received: Mar 22, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): Luciano.Nass@ars.usda.gov
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  1. Luciano Lourenço Nass *a,
  2. Pedro Antônio Arraes Pereirab and
  3. David Ellisc
  1. a Embrapa Labex-USA Genetic Resources, National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, 1111 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, CO 80521
    b Embrapa Labex-USA, Agricultural Research Service, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705
    c National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, 1111 S. Mason St., Fort Collins, CO 80521


The demand for food, fuel, and energy resources continues to increase worldwide. Currently, there are many international efforts aimed at finding renewable, sustainable, and environment friendly solutions for these problems. The spiraling price of petroleum and the adverse effects of using nonrenewable resources are major reasons for increased interest in renewable sources of energy. Brazil, the fifth largest and fifth most populated country in the world, has been developing successful initiatives in renewable sources of energy for more than 75 yr. The production and use of ethanol from sugarcane (Saccharum L.) is a global model for ethanol production, distribution, and use; therefore, the Brazilian ethanol industry has attracted interest from scientists, producers, and governments of both developed and developing countries. Like ethanol, biodiesel is also receiving increased interest in Brazil, with the source material for biodiesel production varying widely between regions. Several oleaginous species have been used, and others are being investigated as potential sources for biodiesel production. Biodiesel was introduced much later than ethanol in Brazil with the formation of the Brazilian Energy Matrix in January 2005 and a mandatory use of at least 2% (B2) biodiesel by 2008 and 5% (B5) by 2013. This paper presents a view of the historic development of ethanol and biodiesel programs in Brazil, emphasizing the strategic role of plant genetic resources as a pillar to support future improvements through plant breeding.

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Copyright © 2007. Crop Science Society of AmericaCrop Science Society of America