Re; energy policy-ethanol.

Carlos Eduardo Rebello crebello at antares.com.br
Wed Dec 4 06:26:35 MST 2002


Since I was the first to bring ethanol into this controversy, let's explain more:

1_The use of ethanol as a biomass substitute for gasoline is feasible, but
within very strict limits; first, it must be associated to the development of
an entire host of biomass subistitute for all fuels having petrol as a raw
material, viz. diesel, kerosene for jat engines, etc., etc. Many of the
technologies avaliable for the development of such subistitutes are still in
an almost experimental stage, as the use of castor-oil seed for a diesel
subistitute.

2_Since sugar-cane would be the most productive raw material for ethanol
prodoction, that would mean that the imperialist countries should organize for
increased dependency from tropical sources of biomass, something that would
run counter the interests,viz. of the high subsidized lobby of US sugar-cane
planters that has so far been successful in imposing a practical ban on
Brazilian ethanol exports to the US.

3_Sugar-cane growing hasn't nothing ecological about it, as it demands the
substitution of complex agricultural ecosystems and the putting in their
places of great expanses of monocultural large-scale sugar-cane plantations,
labored by seasonal workers that , even in the US, would be little better than
braceros. Also, destilling of alcohol and sugar envolves huge production of
highly poluent biochemical waste and rist of enviromental hazards such as
spilling of waste into rivers and lakes.

4_Finally, ethanol is not "clean", as its use in automobile engines, even if
it reduces athmospheric emissions of carbon monoxide, on the other hand
generates higher emissions of aldeides whose effects are still unknown but
which constitute am environmental risk all the same.

CR


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