Biodiesel, a new weapon in the battle against the greenhouse effect

Compared to diesel of petroleum, biodiesel can reduce the emissions of CO2 to 78%. In Brazil, the use of B3 represents around 3 million tons less pollutant gases in atmosphere.

Report of magazine Bioenergia asserts that it is approved: biodiesel presents great potential of environmental gains. Besides not having sulphur, highly toxic, when mixed to regular diesel it reduces the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) and creates less pollutant particles.

"It is estimated that at each ton of biodiesel it is possible to prevent the emission of 2.5 tons of CO2 from going to the atmosphere", says Ricardo Borges Gomide, general-coordinator of the Production Development and Fuel Market of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME). "Just in Brazil with the use of B3 (3% of biodiesel mixed to diesel of petroleum), it is possible to avoid the emission of almost 3 million tons of CO2 per year. With the adoption of B5, it will be more than 5.4 million tons of CO2 less at each year". When compared to diesel obtained from petroleum, biodiesel can reduce in up to 78% emissions of CO2, contributing to avoid greenhouse effect. Nevertheless, biodiesel has faced accusations that also ethanol has threatened the environment and world food security.

In 2008, "The world state of agriculture and food"; report published yearly by FAO - United Nations for Agriculture and Food - asserts that the production of biofuels based on rural products has tripled between 2000 and 2007 and it represents less than 2% of the world consumption of transportation fuels.

Industrial chemist Miguel Dabdoub, from the Laboratório de Desenvolvimento de Tecnologias Limpas (Ladetel), of the Philosophy College, Sciences and Letters of USP - in Ribeirão Preto - SP - says that the arguments of threats to the environments and food security are unfounded. "Biodiesel does not allow particle material or carbon dioxide. And the important thing is that we will not reduce emissions of pollutant only, but have a carbon neutral cycle. Plants will capture CO2 when they grow".

Napoleão Beltrão of Embrapa Algodão, in Campina Grande - PB - agrees that the world is concerned about the environment and greenhouse effect is a reality. According to NASA, the CO2 which comes from petroleum is responsible for 70% of greenhouse effect. But biodiesel pollutes less because it has oxygen.

For several specialists, Brazil owns soil, climate, diversity of species and technology to produce biodiesel without competing with food production or even having to cutting down a tree. Facts that prove deforestation and the threat to food supply are missing. We cannot change ideological fiction into truth.