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Brazil to boost level of ethanol in gasoline

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Staff writer ▼ | February 4, 2015
The Brazilian government agreed with ethanol producers to increase the level of the sugar-based fuel in gasoline.
Brazil ethanol gasoline
Gas emissions   The agreement to halt closures of ethanol plants
Starting February 15, all gasoline sold in Brazil will have to contain at least 27 percent ethanol, up from the current minimum of 25 percent, as decided in a meeting between presidential chief of staff Aloizio Mercadante and leaders of the Unica association representing sugar producers.

The accord must be ratified by President Dilma Rousseff, Unica chief Elizabeth Farina told journalists after the discussion at the presidential palace with Mercadante.

“Tests performed to monitor gas emissions, consumption, wear on parts and engine performance demonstrated it is viable for motor vehicles to use fuel mixtures with the new levels of ethanol,” she said.

Nearly 90 percent of motor vehicles produced in Brazil are equipped with flex-fuel technology that allows them to run on either gasoline or ethanol.

Unica projects that raising the ethanol quota to 27 percent will require an additional annual production of 1 billion liters (264 billion gallons) of the fuel.

Farina said Brazilian car makers are already carrying out tests to see whether the proportion of ethanol can be raised to 27.5 percent. The agreement aims to halt a wave of closures of ethanol plants.

In recent years, roughly 80 plants for the production of ethanol were closed, while other 67 are undergoing court-administered reorganization.

Unica has said that, if the crisis continues, another nine plants might close this year.