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26/07/2011 - 19:23hs

Rio tests sugarcane diesel on bus

Over the next 12 months, Rio is going to test the addition of 30% of sugarcane diesel to traditional diesel. The product was developed by company Amyris Brasil.

Rio de Janeiro – A project named Diesel de Cana - rumo a 2016 (Cane Diesel - heading for 2016), which uses sustainable technology developed by the company Amyris Brasil, was launched this Tuesday (26th) in Rio during the 1st Seminar on Sustainable Technologies in Transport. The initiative is a result of a partnership between the Rio de Janeiro state government, the Rio deJaneiro city hall and the Federation of Passenger Transport Companies of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Fetranspor).

In the coming 12 months, the project will test the addition of 30% of diesel made from sugarcane to fossil diesel on a bus in Rio de Janeiro. The test results will be presented during Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, due to be held in Rio in June 2012.

The Planning and Operations manager at Fetranspor, Guilherme Wilson, stated that sugarcane diesel is not yet commercially available in the country, and that the test results will determine the strategy for the product’s adoption.

Assessments of performance, lowering of emissions, consumption control, impacts on durability and on engine injection devices during the tests will be carried out by the Coordination of Postgraduate Engineering Programs of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Coppe/UFRJ), in partnership with Mercedes Benz, BR Distribuidora and Michelin, which are also partners in the project.

“We are talking about a potential for lowering greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%, because the fuel is made from renewable biomass, in this case sugarcane. Instead of producing ethanol, owners of processing facilities can relocate the raw material to a different line of production and make diesel,” said Wilson.

The president of Amyris Brasil, Paulo Diniz, informed that tests have already been conducted in São Paulo and yielded positive results. The company invested roughly US$ 500 million in developing the new technology.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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