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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 1:22 EDT

EPA Reaffirms Sugarcane Biofuel is Advanced Renewable Fuel with 61% Less Emissions than Gasoline

February 3, 2010

SAO PAULO, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) has confirmed that ethanol made from sugarcane is a low carbon renewable
fuel, which can contribute significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions. As part of today’s announcement finalizing regulations for
the implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2), the EPA designated
sugarcane ethanol as an advanced biofuel that lowers GHG emissions by more
than 50%.

“The EPA’s decision underscores the many environmental benefits of
sugarcane ethanol and reaffirms how this low carbon, advanced renewable fuel
can help the world mitigate climate change while diversifying America’s energy
resources,” said Joel Velasco, Chief Representative in Washington for the
Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA).

Sugarcane ethanol is a renewable fuel refined from cane that grows
typically in tropical climates. Compared to other types of ethanol available
today, using sugarcane ethanol to power cars and trucks yields greater
reductions in greenhouse gases and is usually much cheaper for drivers to
purchase. Brazil has replaced more than half of its fuel needs with sugarcane
ethanol — making gasoline the alternative fuel in that country and ethanol
the standard. Many observers point to sugarcane ethanol as a good option for
diversifying U.S. energy supplies, increasing healthy competition among
biofuel manufacturers and improving America’s energy security.

The RFS2 will help the United States meet energy security and greenhouse
gas reduction goals sought by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
(EISA). The new regulations establish minimum biofuels consumption in the U.S.
of more than 12 billion gallons (45 billion liters) in 2010, rising to 36
billion gallons (136 billion liters) in 2022, of which 21 billion gallons per
year would have to be one of three types of advanced biofuels: cellulosic,
biomass diesel, and “other advanced,” that meet required GHG reduction
thresholds as determined by the EPA.

Today, the EPA affirmed that sugarcane ethanol meets the “other advanced”
category in the RFS2, although with a GHG reduction level that exceeds the
requirement for all categories as well. Specifically, the EPA’s calculations
show that sugarcane ethanol from Brazil reduces GHG emissions compared to
gasoline by 61%, using a 30-year payback for indirect land use change (iLUC)
emissions.

“We are pleased that the EPA took the time to improve the regulations,
particularly by more accurately quantifying the full lifecycle greenhouse
emission reductions of biofuels. The EPA’s reaffirmation of sugarcane
ethanol’s superior GHG reduction confirms that sustainably produced biofuels
can play an important role in climate mitigation. Perhaps this recognition
will sway those who have sought to raise trade barriers against clean energy
here in the U.S. and around the world. Sugarcane ethanol is a first generation
biofuel with third generation performance,” noted Velasco.

Last year, UNICA submitted comments to the EPA with abundant
scientifically credible evidence showing that — even including indirect
emissions — sugarcane ethanol has a reduction of GHG emissions of 73-82%
compared with gasoline, on a 30- or 100-year time horizon respectively. The
RFS2 requires the use of at least 4 billion gallons (over 15 billion liters)
of “other advanced” renewable fuels a year by 2022. In 2010, the RFS requires
200 million gallons of this type of advanced renewable fuel.

“While we are reviewing the final ruling, it is clear that the EPA has
incorporated many of the comments that UNICA and other stakeholders made
during the public process. The EPA should be congratulated for the way it
upheld Obama’s goals of transparency and scientific integrity in the
environmental rulemaking. And we hope that other governments will take note of
the manner in which the EPA has handled this process,” concluded Velasco.

Brazil is a leader in the production of sugarcane ethanol, which is widely
considered to be the most efficient biofuel available today. In 2009, Brazil
produced over 7 billion gallons of sugarcane ethanol, most of which is used in
Brazil in flex fuel vehicles. As a result of Brazil’s innovative use of
sugarcane ethanol in transportation and biomass for cogeneration, sugarcane is
the leading source of renewable energy in the nation, representing 16% of the
country’s total energy needs. In fact, gasoline has become the alternative
fuel in Brazil, reducing the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and cutting
emissions. A recent study in the November 2009 edition of the journal Energy
Policy indicated that since 1975, over 600 million tons of CO2 emissions have
been avoided thanks to the use of ethanol in Brazil.

ABOUT UNICA

The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) represents the top
producers of sugar and ethanol in the country’s South-Central region,
especially the state of Sao Paulo, which accounts for about 50% of the
country’s sugarcane harvest and 60% of total ethanol production. UNICA
develops position papers, statistics and specific research in support of
Brazil’s sugar, ethanol and bioelectricity sectors. In 2008, Brazil produced
an estimated 565 million metric tons of sugarcane, which yielded 31.3 million
tons of sugar and 25.7 billion liters (6.8 billion gallons) of ethanol.

    MORE INFORMATION:
    CDN Corporate Communications - Sao Paulo, Brazil

    Rosa Webster - (5511) 3643 2707 / rosa.webster@cdn.com.br
    Mariane dos Santos - (5511) 3643 2730 / mariane.santos@cdn.com.br

SOURCE Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association


Source: newswire