Sugar Buzz

This article talks about sugarcane and how it can be refined into a renewable fuel source. The EPA recently stated that sugarcane is an advanced biofuel that can reduce GHG’s emissions by 50%. The biggest proponent of the increase use of sugarcane is Joel Velasco, Chief Representative in Washington for the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association, his native country is one of the largest producers of sugar.  Velasco claims that the EPA’s decision “underscores” the total benefits from using such a low carbon renewable fuel. The US is trying to meet set specific quotas made by  Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2), which were made by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). By 2022 the US needs minimum biofuels consumption to be at least 36 billion gallons. Three categories that the EPA have designated for bifofuels are: cellulosic, biomass diesel, and “other advanced,” that meet required GHG reduction thresholds as determined by the EPA. Sugarcane ethanol falls into the “other advanced” fuel and has already had impressive results in Brazil.  The EPA’s calculations have sugarcane ethanol from Brazil reducing GHG emissions compared to gasoline by 61%, taking into a 30-year payback for indirect land use change. According to PRNewswire, a study done in November of 2009 issue of journal Energy Policy showed that since 1975 with the use of ethanol in Brazil has avoided over 600 million tons of CO2 emissions.

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