India, Brazil talk biofuel strategy, solutions to scale up ethanol production  

Industry experts at seminar in Delhi debate ethanol as a sustainable option for mobility, capable of generating immediate positive impacts on energy security and reduction of local pollution and GHG emissions.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 24 Feb 2020 Views icon10577 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

In line with the recent MoU signing in the backdrop of the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro’s India visit, India and Brazil today discussed solutions for adoption of biofuel strategy. The discussion was carried out as part of the seminar ‘Sustainable Mobility: Ethanol Talks’ in Delhi.

The seminar was jointly organised by ISMA (Indian Sugar Mills Association), UNICA (Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association), APLA (Brazil´s Ethanol Cluster), and the Brazilian Government Ministry of External Relations and Apex-Brasil (Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency).

The seminar aimed to promote ethanol as a modern and sustainable option for mobility, capable of generating immediate positive impacts on energy security, public health through the reduction of local pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, responsible for global warming. The event brought together Brazilian experts to offer cooperation and learnings accumulated over 40 years of using ethanol as a large-scale fuel in Brazil.

“Ethanol Talks is a platform to connect Brazilian and Indian sugarcane industries and spark conversation about the main pillars of a biofuel strategy. With the use of ethanol since 2003, Brazil has managed to avoid emission of 603 million tons of CO2. This can also be replicated in other markets like India,” explained UNICA’s CEO, Evandro Gussi. “In 2019, ethanol replaced 48% of the consumption of petrol in Brazil, being the second largest biofuel consumer market in the world”.

 “The seminar is part of the Brazilian government's objective to diversify the countries that produce and consume bioenergy and biofuels”, said Renato D. Godinho, Head- Energy Promotion Division, Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “It complements the multilateral biofuture platform of which India is a part. This dialogue with the Indian authorities gave us the opportunity to go into details such as pricing, blending, distribution, effects on the vehicle fleet, among others”.

‘Sustainable Mobility: Ethanol Talks’
Plinio Nastari, President, Datagro and representative of civil society in the National Energy Policy Council (CNPE), brought the point of view of effective public policies for increasing the mixture of ethanol in gasoline (petrol) in the lecture ‘Ethanol Blending Policy: Status & Implementation’. "The purpose of this Road Show is to transfer knowledge so that the global auto industry invests more and more in technologies that lead to greater efficiency in the use of ethanol, as an energy and transport solution," said Nastari.

The professor of the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Bioagents at UNICAMP University, Goncalo Pereira, made a presentation about the routes for the energy transition and its impacts on global warming in the session "Security and Energy Planning". "We have to keep CO2 at current levels to avoid climate change, which could have serious impacts in the regions where civilization is established, leading to waves of migration, poverty and changes in the production pattern in the most different places".

The ‘Integration with the Oil Sector’ session was hosted by Márcio FElix, Brazil’s former secretary of petroleum, natural gas and biofuels at the Ministry of Mines and Energy. “Ethanol increases the longevity of the oil industry and helps to improve its image. We highlighted instances of ethanol’s contribution to the oil industry, and we still have a great horizon ahead.”

The perspective of automotive technologies was given by Ricardo Abreu, former technical director of MAHLE Metal Leve, in the discussion ON ‘Ethanol Use and Automotive Industry’. “The history of mixing and preparing vehicles for it has to be better understood. The evolution of technologies has made available more robust materials, which are better for several uses, not only ethanol. This evolution has made vehicles much more prepared to receive any type of blend”, emphasises Abreu on the safety of using ethanol mixed with gasoline for the operation of cars.

Lastly, Prof. Paulo Afonso de André, School of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil shared the public health perspective in the session ‘Ethanol as an Agent for the Reduction of Carbon Emissions and Local Air Pollutants’. “Today, almost 60% of the Brazilian population lives in cities, so pollution is a problem that affects so many people that it cannot be left in the background. This needs to be in the minds of legislators: pollution and health are closely linked,” analyzed Andre.

The year 2020 represents a milestone for specialists in climate change, as it would record the maximum level of GHG emissions. In this sense, the mixture of ethanol in gasoline, when adopted through clear and long-term public policy, can provide an instant decrease in emissions in the auto sector, the sector responsible for more than ¼ of global emissions. In Brazil, for example, the presence of 27% ethanol in gasoline guarantees a 15% reduction in GHG emissions.

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