This week, Brazilian government-controlled oil company Petrobras began testing its B5 Biodiesel, a conventional diesel oil containing 5% of biodiesel. The company intends to commercialize the fuel next year, anticipating the law requiring mandatory use of 5% of biodiesel in conventional diesel, which should become effective in 2013.
The project, jointly developed by the government of the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia, Ford, the University of Salvador (Unifacs – Bahia), Siemens VDO, MWM International, TI Automotive, Mahle, and Michelin, forecasts that six Ford Ranger vehicles should drive for 100,000 kilometers over a nine-month period in the state of Bahia.
Two types of biodiesel extracted from oleaginous plants will be used, one from castor bean, and another from soy. Two vehicles will test the biodiesel produced from castor bean, two will use soy biodiesel, and two other vehicles will run on regular diesel.
After the tests are completed, there will be an assessment of performance, emission of pollutants and abrasion caused by biodiesel to each motor, compared with conventional diesel. The quality of the fuels used will be monitored by laboratory tests using portable equipment.
Petrobras already sells, in 4,000 units of its network, its B2 Biodiesel, a diesel oil containing 2% of biodiesel. This percentage will be mandatory beginning in 2008. Petrobras already owns several biodiesel plants and, by 2011, the company should be producing 855 million liters of biodiesel per year.
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