Renewable Fuels

Brazil creates working group to evaluate higher biodiesel blends

Petrobras to exit biofuels sector
Photo courtesy of Petrobras.

Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) announced the creation of a working group to carry out engine tests to evaluate the impact of higher biodiesel blends in petroleum diesel on engines and vehicles. Ordinance No. 262/2016 requires the ministry to coordinate the working group and establish deadlines for the completion of the vehicle and engine tests.

The working group is composed of government agencies and stakeholder representatives from the private sector, including auto and oil manufacturers and biodiesel producers. The group has already conducted four meetings before it was formally organized and convened.

Senate Law No. 613/2015, which amends Law No. 13,033/14, mandates the progressive increase of biodiesel blends from 7% to 10%. Currently, 7% biodiesel blend (B7) is being sold in the country. By next year, the biodiesel blend will increase to 8%.

Brazil’s National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) can also raise the mandatory biodiesel blend to 15% if the tests validate the use of this higher blend.

The law aims to encourage the production of biodiesel, reduce the importation of petroleum diesel and promote family farming and agribusiness in Brazil.

Brazil’s installed biodiesel capacity, which stood at 7.3 million cubic metres as of October 2015, is underutilized. Last year, Brazil’s biodiesel production was only 4.0 million cubic metres. In 2014, biodiesel production was 3.4 million cubic metres.

Brazil is the second largest biodiesel market after the United States. According to data from Brazil’s National Oil and Biofuels Agency (ANP), the country’s biodiesel production were sourced from the following feedstocks: 76.9% from soybean oil, 19.2% from beef tallow, 1.7% from cotton and the remainder from a variety of other feedstocks.

Brazil started mandating the blending of biodiesel with petroleum diesel in 2008.

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