Biodiesel production and use: Brazil vs. U.S.

I decided to look into how biodiesel is produced in used in Brazil and the U.S. and how they differ from one another As of 2009, Brazil biodiesel production was approximately 3.8 billion liters per year. Some of Brazil’s eligible feedstock includes soybeans, canola, sunflower seed, rapeseed, fats and oils. According to the article, 90% of Brazil’s biodiesel production is based on soybean. Interestingly enough, Brazil is using soybean, which produces only 500 liters of biodiesel per soy hectare; while each hectare of palm can produce 6000 liters of biodiesel. The article explains that Brazil is mostly concerned with employment when it comes to biodiesel production and soybean production provides the most employment. In the United States the feedstock choice for the production of biodiesel is linked with a guaranteed fuel supply with reasonable costs. The future of Brazil’s biodiesel production looks promising because of the governments input. Currently, Brazil’s legislation has a law for a mandatory blend of 2% biodiesel fuel and 98% petroleum fuel. By 2013, the blend will move up to 5%. As for the United States, we recently are attempting to reinstate the biodiesel tax incentive. The incentive is suppose to make biodiesel price competitive with conventional diesel fuel. Also, in 2008 the U.S. produced 700 million gallons of biodiesel. Compared to Brazil, we have a lot of catching up to do. Therefore, in regards to the government, the U.S. needs to become more proactive about the production and use of biodiesel. The U.S. does have state laws that require blends of biodiesel and petroleum based diesel, but to make a positive leap in biodiesel production and use the U.S. needs to step up.

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