Brazils sugar crop fuels nations cars

#1
More than 80% of new cars now sold in Brazil are equipped to use ethanol as well as gasoline.
Both fuels are available almost everywhere, and since ethanol is about 60% cheaper at the moment, the home grown fuel is more popular than the foreign import.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4715332.stm

The focus now is on boosting exports. Japan is considering a deal to import up to six billion litres of Brazilian ethanol by 2008.

interesting. bio fuel a possible alternative for the uk? suger beet? more trucks running on chip fat?
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
Dr Stealth, it may interest you to learn that if you live in the South East of England, and buy your motor spirit from Tesco then you will already be running your car on an admixture of bioethanol and motor spirit (a 5:95 ratio). Tesco's suppliers (Greenergy) import a lot of bioethanol from Brazil and have recently entered negatiations to find a home grown supplier (it's in the Grauniad today so it must be true).

There is an EU requirement that in the future all diesel vehicles will run on admixtures of 5% biodiesel and 95% ULSD (or SFD in the near future).

Biofuels are one way forward for the UK's environment - they make a huge contribution to our Kyoto targets on greenhouse emissions, but (and it's a big but) the UK can never be self sufficient in biofuels in their current form. We simply can't grow enough sugar beet or oil seed rape. Cellulosic sources of fuel might make that change, but research in this area isn't even in it's infancy.
 
#4
This isn't new . I can dimly remember WISCO (Tate and Lyle BWI) experimenting with Sugar Cane by-products to this end.

Then again , John Deere tractors will probably run on anything when they're old enough.
 
#5
Whilst on the theme................. our first bio-fuel power station is under construction in Staffordshire. Its relatively small scale and experimental in nature, but will run on locally grown elephant grass.
The grass, which is native to south-east Asia, grows up to eight feet in a season.
Its a great idea, and certainly something we could use to generate a little supplementary energy, but we're a densely populated island and dont have the vast areas of suitable arable land that Brazil has.
 
#7
The Brazilians in Sao Paulo can tank with 3 different fuels,ethanol can be poured into the bezin tank and most cars have an extra tank for LPGas.

I find it crazy that a so-called 3rd world country is more advanced than the Hi-tech ones;Either petrols not expensive enough,or we´re just to lazy to change.

I´m one of very few taxi´s in Germany that runs on LPG/Benzin,oh how my colleages laughed,untill of course the oil prices jumped dramatcally in the last few months;Now they have stopped taking the p+ss,except for them calling me the mobile Gas Kammer! :twisted:
 
#8
PartTimePongo said:
Hang on , won't Elephant grass grow in areas of high salinity as well? You could tie in an energy crop with coastal defence?
Thats a great idea PTP, AND it would serve to disguise, or at least utilise, some of the less "picturesque" areas of Kent, Norfolk etc. Unfortunately, there doesnt seem to be any appetite for elegant, practical solutions to environmental issues in this country, quite the opposite in fact. After all, why build the numerous new housing projects on derelict brown-field sites, when you can bulldoze an area of outstanding natural beauty. :roll: Better still, throw those thousands of over-priced, energy inefficent, mock-tudor matchboxes up on floodplains. :?
In this country, we seem to be suffering from a protracted pandemic of stoopid. :wink:
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
sandmanfez said:
PartTimePongo said:
Hang on , won't Elephant grass grow in areas of high salinity as well? You could tie in an energy crop with coastal defence?
Unfortunately, there doesnt seem to be any appetite for elegant, practical solutions to environmental issues in this country, quite the opposite in fact. After all, why build the numerous new housing projects on derelict brown-field sites? :
Probably because of the cost of decontaminating the brownfield sites make the cost of development prohibitive. Getting rid of Arsenic, Asbestos, and sundry other nasties is not something that the Barratts and Redrows of this world would want to do, when they can just as easily despoil a green field site and make a greater profit.

That's capitalism for you.

But I do agree that the Thames Gateway project is a disaster just waiting to happen. That the Insurance companies won't touch the properties built there with a barge pole is a source of both deep joy (I live nowhere near the South East), and annoyance (Fingerz Jr can't afford a house in the South East which is where he lives and works).
 

Pob02

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#10
For once I can actually supply some knowledge. Tate and Lyle are in fact just starting to trade internationally in Ethanol, one small water-testing deal towards end of last year, and a fair few planned for this year ( would say more but getting sacked is not high on the agenda for me at the moment.

British Sugar have just opened a new Bioethanol production plant in Norfolk. It was mildly humorous for me to watch them being ignore trying to show this off at an International Petroleum Week do I was at a couple of days ago.
 
#12
Mr_Fingerz said:
the UK can never be self sufficient in biofuels in their current form. We simply can't grow enough sugar beet or oil seed rape.
We don't need to use rape seed oil...we can make biodiesel from recycled veggy fat from all the curry houses in the north of England...

Infact, Rusholme in Manchester is big enough to supply 50% of the UK's needs in recycled samosa fat..with Birmingahm covering the remaining 50% and also the emergency reserve supply. Just wait until you see a 'Pataks pump' at the local garage :wink:
 
#15
Thought I'd just nip in with my little bit of knowledge (I wrote a dissertion on biodiesel)

There is currently a bioethonal plant being built, ready for 2007 I think. It's either thetford or Diss.

Biofuels are currently still a small amount of total fuel sold (around 0.3% or something...), however their use is growing. This is because by 2010 all fuel sold will have to be at least 5% biofuel (biofuels obligation), this is behind the EU target of 5.75%.
Biofuels are taxed 20p per litre LESS than normal fuel. However this brings the price only into line with your normal fuels. This also doesn't benefit public transport etc as they claim back fuel duty, therefore a pure biofuel mix will cost them 20p per litre more.

There is debate as to whether we should import biofuels, as in this country there are energy inputs of fertiliser, transport and the refining process (esterfication for biodiesel, fermentation for bioethanol). In a country with a more favourable climate there could be less energy inputs, thus less net carbon dioxide, even taking into account shipping it over here.

In north norfolk there are many petrol stations, many tesco, running a 5% biodiesel mix. Also around London there are some with a 5% biofuel mix.

Ford and Saab have recently introduced a model each to the UK capable of running on 85% bioethanol. This actually boosts the power 20% over normal fuel (higher calorific value) although it increases fuel consumption. Somerset council (north somerset I believe) have purchased some of these ford focuses and have the facilities to fill them with bioethanol. The engines are modified with stronger valve heads (more power from same engine) and some different seals (biofuel likes to eat rubber). Also the engine management units can work out what biofuel/fuel mix is being used and adjust accordingly.

ummmm, does that help? Any specfic questions just ask :)
 
#16
PartTimePongo said:
I can see it now. Artificial lagoons of Elephant Grass farmed in rotation , providing a new natural habitat?

http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/Publications.htm?seq_no_115=152921

What is the salinity level of the North Sea ,Irish Sea, Channel and North Foreland?
It doesnt even need to be grown in rotation, its an annual crop which will grow to eight feet, be harvested, dried, shredded and burnt each year.
Its even CO2 neutral, in that, the CO2 produced by burning it is exactly equal to the CO2 it absorbed whilst growing.

Andys idea of importing it may work, I'm not sure if it would be economically viable while there is still high value oil to utilise, but once the oil dries up, and there is no longer a commercial consideration, it would make perfect sense.
 
#17
sandmanfez said:
PartTimePongo said:
I can see it now. Artificial lagoons of Elephant Grass farmed in rotation , providing a new natural habitat?

http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/Publications.htm?seq_no_115=152921

What is the salinity level of the North Sea ,Irish Sea, Channel and North Foreland?
It doesnt even need to be grown in rotation, its an annual crop which will grow to eight feet, be harvested, dried, shredded and burnt each year.
Its even CO2 neutral, in that, the CO2 produced by burning it is exactly equal to the CO2 it absorbed whilst growing.

Andys idea of importing it may work, I'm not sure if it would be economically viable while there is still high value oil to utilise, but once the oil dries up, and there is no longer a commercial consideration, it would make perfect sense.
That's not quite true, as there are processes in which energy is used, meaning carbon dioxide is produced and the fuel is no longer completely carbon neutral. For the type of biodiesel suitable for use in modern diesel engines this equates to biodiesel emitting 60% of what mineral diesel would.
They reckon you could get it down to around 10%, depending on the crop used, process and also the fuel mix (for example, if electricity is used how much of that is produced by coal/gas/nuclear/renewables etc)

Someone mentioned a biofuel powerplant. This can be seen as actually harming the progress towards reducing carbon emissions. For electricity generation we can have renewables and nuclear which are low carbon, yet there is no equivelant for transport, they burn oil, so surely using that energy crop in transport instead of electricity generation (only about 35% effecient max) would be more effective, as you can move your electricity generation to nuclear etc.
For effeciency the use of a combined heat and power plant could see this rise to 70%, in which case it may be worth it (as well as producing electricity the residual heat from the plant is used to heat water which can be supplied to commerical or domestic sites)
 
#18
sandmanfez said:
Whilst on the theme................. our first bio-fuel power station is under construction in Staffordshire. Its relatively small scale and experimental in nature, but will run on locally grown elephant grass.
There are a few around in East Anglia (have been for some time) that burn either chicken litter or rendered BSE cows. A few years ago the company I worked for got the job of making these as inefficient as possible as they were being paid to burn the BSE cows (i.e. fuel had a negative cost).

http://www.eprl.co.uk/profile/index.html
 

Pob02

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#20
crabby said:
There is currently a bioethonal plant being built, ready for 2007 I think. It's either thetford or Diss.
That'll be the British Sugar one I was talking about.

Ethanol is starting to become the "next big thing" for sugar companies, in particular the molasses trading arms, as more places are stopping the production of molasses in favour of ethanol ( for example next year there will be no Indonesian Molasses available for export).
 

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