Introduction of Petrobras

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BIOFUELS
50 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
ABOUT THIS NEW MARKET

Ministério das Minas e Energia

BIOFUELS
50 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
ABOUT THIS NEW MARKET

Presentation
T he history of biofuels in Brazil began with pioneering tests carried out between 1905 and 1925 with ethanol. In 1931, the Brazilian Government passed a decree which obliged the mixing of 5% of alcohol in gasoline imported in to the country; seven years later, Decree-Law No. 737 extended the obligation of mixing 5% of alcohol also to gasoline produced within Brazil. In the 60s, the discovery of vast oil reserves in the Middle East lessened the world’s interest in biofuels. However, with the first world oil crisis in 1973, the search for new energy sources restarted. In 1975, Brazil launched the National Alcohol Program (known as Proálcool) – the largest program for the commercial use of biomass for energy purposes in the world. Two years later, Professor Expedito Parente, of the Ceará Federal University, discovered biodiesel made from cotton oil and, in 1980, he registered the first world wide biodiesel patent, now in the public domain. Throughout the world, with the passing of the years and the intermittent energy crises, associated to a greater demand for fossil fuels, new and strong stimuli emerged for the development of production technologies both for ethanol and biodiesel. These two products are starting to have a leading role in the world’s energy matrix and in the international fuel market. Thanks to its climate, geography, vast areas available for cultivating grain and sugar cane and, also, the high technology developed by Petrobras, in the past few years Brazil has become, in world terms, one of the largest producers of biofuels, with a singular and enviable potential

Presentation

for growth. Currently, nine out of ten cars sold in Brazil have flex fuel engines, that is, they are…...

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