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Brazil: record sugar cane, ethanol production on track

sugarWe’ve been hearing lots about Brazil’s growing use of sugar cane to produce ethanol–and the latest figures suggest it’s got a bumper crop ahead. Sugar cane production is likely to be up 15% to a total of 547 million tons. (Greenbang is trying to visualise what that would look like if it was all piled up somewhere.)

But the real change is the proportion of it that goes into sweetening your coffee, versus the amount that goes to power your car, as AutoblogGreen reports:

The uses for this huge amounts of sugarcane are divided this way: 40.5 percent for sugar manufacturing (30 million tons of sugar) and a whopping 46 percent to produce 21.3 billion liters of ethanol, 22 percent more than last year’s production. The rest of the sugarcane is used for producing specific sugars, panela and liquor (cachaça for caipirinhas, among others).

We just hope the extra space required for all this sugar cane isn’t coming at the expense of the country’s rainforests.

Because of the increased demand for ethanol, Brazil producers have increased by 12.3 percent the acres dedicated to sugarcane. Plans are to double this production in five-years time.

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