Skip to comments. Growth of ethanol fuel stalls in Brazil
Posted on 02/22/2014 12:57:34 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Domestic consumption of liquid ethanol this year has been 26% lower than for the same period in 2008. Forty-one of the countrys roughly 400 sugar-cane ethanol plants have closed over that time. The price of pure ethanol at the pump is so high that in most states it is cheaper to fill up flexible-fuel cars with petrol blends that contain about 20% ethanol...
It began with the 2008 economic crisis, which staunched new investments in the sector just as it was expanding rapidly, and deep in debt. Rather than developing new plantations, the industry fell back on harvesting cane from older, less-productive sites, and average yields plummeted from 115 tonnes per hectare in 2008 to 69 tonnes this year. Combined with two bad harvests, this has forced Brazil to import some 1.5 billion litres of maize (corn) ethanol from the United States over the past 2 years.
But the killer blow came when the government decided to freeze the price of petrol and diesel to keep inflation under control, leaving biofuels less competitive... the government said it would be reducing a federal fuel tax to zero...
Meanwhile, the government has tried to stimulate the economy with tax breaks on the sale of new cars. That, combined with the cost of pure ethanol, has meant that the share of alcohol in our transport fuel matrix has dropped from 55% in 2008 to 35%, says André Ferreira, head of the Institute for Energy and the Environment, a think-tank in São Paulo.
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
Not to mention car dealers here are quietly voiding warranties on cars using E15.
If they used it for feed stock there would be lots of beautiful pork and beef to consume instead of wasted energy and ruined engines.
Just saying. I wish I could grow sugar cane just to run through a chipper to make mulch for my garden. Corn and sunflower stalks are thankfully an adequate substitute.
Now I have to go back and research the big fight between the U.S. and Brazil over ethanol seems like Brazil won a big decision with the WTO a few years back.
I grew sugarcane in my backyard garden a few years ago and tried to use it as a privacy fence. But when they got tall, bushy and ripe all the neighborhood brats came around and tore them up. Just for the sweet goody of it. I ripped out the tattered remnants and mulched them. And wouldn’t you know it? The sugarcane mulch attracted fire ants. Sugarcane is easy to grow in a temperate climate, but it ain’t worth the hassle.