Business & Economy

Brazilian gov’t promotes biomethane as “green fuel”

Brasilia, Mar 21 (EFE).- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced Monday a program to encourage the production and use of biomethane as part of a transition to renewable energy.

Brazil should be “in the vanguard” of clean energy and the country’s position as an agricultural powerhouse gives it “enormous potential” to become a leader in biomethane, which can use crop residue and animal manure as feedstock, the president said at an event to introduce the initiative.

The environment ministry said that the government will make available 400 billion reais ($80 billion) in public money to finance private-sector biomethane projects.

Described by advocates as “renewable natural gas,” biomethane is usually produced by removing CO2 and other contaminants from biogas, itself the result of anaerobic digestion of organic matter in an oxygen-free environment.

Latin America’s largest economy is currently producing only 2 percent of its potential biomethane output, the head of the Brazilian Biogas Association, Alessandro Gardemann, said during the event in Brasilia.

Brazil has the capability to boost biomethane production from the present level of around 500,000 cubic meters per day to 30 million cubic meters a day by 2030, he said.

“It’s a marvel. It’s the future,” Bolsonaro said, recounting how he traveled on a biomethane-fueled tractor from his residence to the presidential palace earlier Monday.

The right-wing head of state was greeted outside the official residence by dozens of supporters who came out to wish Bolsonaro well on his 67th birthday. EFE ed/dr

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