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A review of Brazilian biodiesel experiences


  • Rico, J.A.P.
  • Sauer, I.L.


This article investigates the history of proposals to use vegetable oils as fuel in Brazil beginning in the 1920s up to the current National Program for Biodiesel Production and Use – PNPB. The characteristics of vegetable oils markets and of the oil products market, as well as the incentive mechanisms formulated for biodiesel implementation, are analyzed. Although the research focuses on the Brazilian experience, initiatives of biodiesel insertion, or those already implemented in countries with significant oilseeds production are also studied. The results allow concluding that attempts to make biodiesel production viable confront several barriers. Comparative analysis revealed that vegetable oil world prices tend to be higher than the equivalent fossil oils. In Brazil, the initiative in the 1970s lacked political alliances to overcome the difficulties imposed by market conditions such as those that benefited the National Alcohol Program –Proalcool. In the resumption of the 2000s with PNPB, despite intense articulation and institutional incentives, arising from the limited scale of production of the feedstock from incentived family farming and from the nature of markets of vegetable oils, as food or fuel, and of fossil oils, especially regarding the respective regulating prices. The incentives provided by the PNPB seem insufficient for vegetable oils to prefer the energy market instead of benefiting from higher surplus in alternative food markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Rico, J.A.P. & Sauer, I.L., 2015. "A review of Brazilian biodiesel experiences," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 513-529.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:45:y:2015:i:c:p:513-529
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2015.01.028

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. César, Aldara da Silva & Werderits, Dayana Elizabeth & de Oliveira Saraiva, Gabriela Leal & Guabiroba, Ricardo César da Silva, 2017. "The potential of waste cooking oil as supply for the Brazilian biodiesel chain," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 246-253.
    2. repec:eee:enepol:v:110:y:2017:i:c:p:461-470 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Araujo Rodrigues, Larissa & Luís Sauer, Ildo, 2015. "Exploratory assessment of the economic gains of a pre-salt oil field in Brazil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 486-495.
    4. Hajjari, Masoumeh & Tabatabaei, Meisam & Aghbashlo, Mortaza & Ghanavati, Hossein, 2017. "A review on the prospects of sustainable biodiesel production: A global scenario with an emphasis on waste-oil biodiesel utilization," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 445-464.
    5. repec:eee:rensus:v:75:y:2017:i:c:p:168-179 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:enepol:v:110:y:2017:i:c:p:525-533 is not listed on IDEAS


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