Industry Market Trends

Brazil's Beleaguered Biofuel Business

December 7, 2012

The issue of biofuels has been around since at least the early 20th century. According to National Geographic, Henry Ford built his first Model Ts for use with ethanol, and many early diesel engines were designed to run on peanut oil. But the biggest obstacle with biofuels has been having the proverbial cake and eating it to. More specifically, whatever you do with land, you can't do something else with that same piece of land. Housing or crops? Crops or grazing? Grazing or housing? It's a lesson Brazil's learning these days as well. As Nature.com wrote recently, in 2007 Brazil was in the midst of a biofuels boom. The country made more ethanol than anybody outside of the United States. Brazil has lots of sugar cane, and they were fermenting lots of it to produce biofuel. Brazil's experience was being studied as a way to produce biofuels, create jobs and reduce the world's dependence on fossil fuels. Then... well, a few things happened. Read More