Driving Today

Brazil Sweet on Diesel

Rio de Janeiro buses set to run on renewable diesel fuel derived from sugarcane.

Partly inspired by the effort to make the 2016 Olympic Games “sustainable,” Brazil has announced that it will use renewable diesel fuel during a 12-month fleet test that will involve 20 city buses in Rio de Janeiro. The fuel, partly based on sugarcane, will be supplied by Amyris Brasil Ltda.

The renewable fuel, known locally as Diesel de Cana, will be blended at a 30-percent rate with petroleum-derived diesel and used in Mercedes-Benz buses operated by Viacao Saens Pena, a Rio-based bus operator. The Rio transportation federation, Fetranspor, will use the data collected during this fleet test to evaluate the engine and environmental benefits of Amyris’s renewable diesel. The results of the fleet test will be presented at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) taking place in Rio in June 2012.

“We are thrilled to expand the use of our renewable diesel to Brazil’s second largest city,” says John Melo, CEO of Amyris. “This will be the first large-scale use of our Diesel de Cana at a blend of 30 percent in Brazil.”

The city of Rio de Janeiro has more than 8,000 buses consuming about 280 million liters of diesel per year. The Rio fleet test is expected to validate the significant reduction of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions evidenced in recent Mercedes-Benz engine tests with a 30-percent blend of Amyris’s renewable diesel. The company says its -hydrocarbon renewable diesel fuel derived from plant-based sugars does not require engine or infrastructure modifications.

“We are ready to meet the growing demand for cane-derived renewable fuels in Rio as the city prepares to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games,” says Paulo Diniz, president of Amyris Brasil.



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