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03/03/2011 - 17:53hs

Biodiesel to be Carnival highlight

Biodiesel will fuel parade cars of samba school Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel.

Brasília - Biodiesel will be used by samba school Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel (Independent Youth of Padre Miguel) to fuel parade cars during Carnival in Rio. The renewable fuel is made from plants (vegetable oils) or animals (animal fat) and is gaining space in the domestic and foreign markets. Brazil is the third largest consumer market for the oil in the world, after Germany and France. Figures supplied by the National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuel Agency (ANP) show that in 2010, the country produced roughly 2.4 billion litres of the oil, 43% more than in the previous year.

"Actions of this type provide visibility to the advantages of using biodiesel and to the market's growth year after year," says the secretary of Production and Agroenergy at the Ministry of Agriculture, Manoel Bertone. The fuel may be manufactured from several raw manterials, such as soy, canola, castor seed, sunflower seed and palm oil. Besides, it does not harm the environment, reduces emissions of carbon monoxide, sulphur oxide, total petroleum hydrocarbons and a large share of the toxic hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are chemical compounds made from carbon and hydrogen that are found in traditional fuels such as gasoline and diesel.

The samba school is going to use approximately 800 litres of the oil, produced from vegetable and animal residue, during the parade. The use of the biofuel during Carnival in Rio is the result of an agreement between the school and the companies that make the oil, organized under teh Brazilian Biodiesel Union (Ubrabio). Also involved are the National Institute of Technology, the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro and the Federation of Passenger Transport Companies of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Fetranspor). The engines are already installed in Mocidade's cars, and have undergone inspections and testing.

*Of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply. Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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