Hope for Brazilian Palm Oil Production

BRAZIL – A new study has uncovered over seven million hectares of Brazilian land where palm oil could be grown without irrigation.Data presented by Embrapa shows that in 2011, the transportation sector accounted for almost one third of energy consumption in Brazil.

The need to fuel this segment tends to increase, given the economic growth and the resulting increase in the vehicle fleet in the country.

Even if the proportion of biodiesel added to diesel oil remains at five per cent (B5), it will be necessary to expand production by more than 50 per cent until 2020.

To allow diversification of raw materials, Embrapa Agro-energy is investing in research on plants with high potential oil yield.

One is the back-to-oil (palm oil). They are grown for decades in Brazil, production is still very low. Currently the country imports 60 per cent of palm oil it consumes, although it has a large area suitable for agriculture.

Embrapa studies show that there are over seven million hectares of Brazilian land where palm-oil-could be grown without irrigation regions nor compromising environmental protection.

There is technology available and land to produce palm oil. The surveys are also concentrated in the exploitation of already identified six residues from the production of palm oil.

Other crops with potential for use in biodiesel production that are being studied by Embrapa Agro-energy are jatropha and palm native to Brazil as macaúba.