World's biggest ethanol producer hopes to export to UK
5 February 2007

Brazil wants to encourage use of ethanol to power cars in the UK, and is hoping to establish partnerships with British companies to achieve this aim.

In an interview with The Times newspaper, Brazil's finance minister Guido Mantega said that "It's possible to give more importance to ethanol. We can develop joint projects in such a way that we can introduce these alternative energy sources into regular consumption here [the UK]."

The South American country is the world's leading producer and exporter of ethanol, and also its biggest user. Up to half of cars in Brazil can run on ethanol or a petrol-ethanol mixture. Exporting the fuel to the UK would boost Brazil's economy, and also help reduce global CO2 emissions.

In Brazil, ethanol is produced from sugar cane. The fuel is more efficient to produce than ethanol made from maize (as in the US), and also provides more energy. Brazilians have been using sugar cane ethanol since the 1970s, when the country announced its intention to achieve energy self-sufficiency.

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