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Sugarcane Ethanol Brings Environmental Benefits, Energy Diversity to DC Auto Show

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Washington, DC, January 25, 2010 – The environmental benefits of sugarcane ethanol will be showcased during the 2010 Washington Auto Show as part of the event’s Advanced Technology Superhighway. Sugarcane ethanol has been widely credited with a significant reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 90% when compared with gasoline – better than any other biofuel available today.

“With GHG reductions reaching 90%, Brazilian sugarcane ethanol is the only liquid biofuel available today that significantly surpasses carbon reduction requirements contained in U.S. renewable fuels policies,” says Joel Velasco, Chief Representative for North America for the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA).

“This year’s Auto Show theme is ‘Change Happens Here,’ and we are confident that sugarcane ethanol will help the U.S. meet its new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires advanced biofuels to reduce GHG by at least 40% starting this year. And in 2011, when the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) goes into effect, we look forward to providing the lowest carbon biofuel to the country’s largest auto market,” Velasco concludes.

At the Auto Show, UNICA will highlight the dramatic changes happening with sugarcane ethanol and what these improvements could mean for the United States. “Sugarcane is now the number one source of renewable energy in Brazil, replacing more than half the country’s fuel needs and making gasoline the alternative fuel. As today’s Wall Street Journal noted, ‘the sugarcane industry is expanding existing production of renewable plastics and, with the help of innovative U.S.-based companies, will soon be offering bio-based hydrocarbons that can replace carbon-intensive fossil fuels,’” Velasco concluded. 

UNICA’s booth is located in the Advanced Technology SuperHighway, a showcase of the latest innovations in safety and sustainability at this year’s Auto Show. To learn more, visit or

UNICA’s presence at the Washington Auto Show was made possible through the Apex-Brasil/UNICA project, a partnership launched in January of 2008 between the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association and the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency, within the Federal Development, Industry and International Trade Ministry. The main objective of the partnership is to promote Brazilian sugarcane ethanol throughout the world as a clean, renewable energy source.

Media Contact

Ana Carolina Lessa
Public Affairs, North America
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