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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

The Brazilian biofuels industry

José Goldemberg

Author Affiliations

University of São Paulo, Institute of Electrotechnics and Energy, Av. Prof. Luciano Gualberto, São Paulo, SP 05508-010, Brazil

Biotechnology for Biofuels 2008, 1:6  doi:10.1186/1754-6834-1-6

Published: 1 May 2008

Abstract

Ethanol is a biofuel that is used as a replacement for approximately 3% of the fossil-based gasoline consumed in the world today. Most of this biofuel is produced from sugarcane in Brazil and corn in the United States. We present here the rationale for the ethanol program in Brazil, its present 'status' and its perspectives. The environmental benefits of the program, particularly the contribution of ethanol to reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, are discussed, as well as the limitations to its expansion.