Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Oil palm biodiesel: Brazil's main challenges

The authors are Aldara da Silva César (Fluminense Federal University - Brazil),
Mário Otávio Batalha (Federal University of São Carlos - Brazil), André Luiz Miranda Silva Zopelari (National Institute for Space Research - Brazil).

The National Program for Production and Use of Biodiesel (PNPB), launched in Brazil, is based on the diversification of its feedstock and social inclusion. Among the various oilseeds, palm was identified as the ideal one for the Northern region. However, the participation of palm is still not representative in the Brazilian biodiesel matrix. The key industrial challenges to promote oil palm in the biodiesel sector (as well as surpass them) are represented in the data presented herein. The current level of production is not enough to meet the industry's needs. The use of this oil appears to be a viable possibility in the medium-term. However technological limitations, infrastructure, transaction costs and high investments are pivotal bottlenecks to promote palm in the biodiesel chain. Concerning social promotion, there are not enough results yet. The prolonged process of economic marginalization, which family farmers have undergone in the Northern region, results in companies having to engage in social activities that aim at deeper cultural changes.

Fluminense Federal University, Agribusiness Engineering Department, GASA – Grupo de Análise e Sistemas Agroindustriais, Av. dos Trabalhadores, 420, Vila Santa Cecília, Volta Redonda, RJ 27.255-125, Brazil
Aldara da Silva César

Federal University of São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil
Mário Otávio Batalha

National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos – SP, Brazil
André Luiz Miranda Silva Zopelari