Vietnam has great potential for biofuel: experts
  • | VNS | April 11, 2024 08:14 AM

Vietnam has an abundance of raw materials for biofuel production which could be the key to transforming the transportation sector and moving towards sustainable growth, according to experts.

Experts discuss biofuel and sustainable mobility at the event on Wednesday.

In a seminar on the role of ethanol in sustainable mobility on Wednesday, officials and business representatives from Brazil and Vietnam discussed how dialogue and cooperation can accelerate the energy transition in countries, especially bioenergy and agroindustry.

“This initiative is proof of Brazil's willingness to further cooperate with Vietnam and ASEAN in shaping a more prosperous and sustainable future for our countries,” said Mauro Vieira, Brazilian foreign minister who is on an official visit to Vietnam.

It is estimated that more than three billion people living in the Global South, including Vietnam, could benefit from the adoption of biofuels, according to the President of the Brazilian Sugarcane and Bioenergy Industry Association (UNICA) Evandro Gussi.

Through fermentation processes, common sugar-based feedstocks such as corn, sugarcane and cassava can be converted into ethanol to be used as biofuel for engines.

In Brazil, the use of ethanol has prevented the emission of around 660 million tonnes of CO2 in 20 years due to the flex-fuel technology for automobiles, which allows combustion engines to run on either petrol, ethanol or both in any proportion, he said.

Currently, all petrol sold in Brazil is a 27 per cent ethanol blend.

"Based on the Brazilian experience, we can contribute to advancing the ethanol agenda in Vietnam, sharing solutions for the development of the agro-industry for biofuel production, like our partnership with other countries in Asia," said Flávio Castellari, executive director of the Brazilian Ethanol Cluster (APLA).

He pointed out that in Asian countries, as in other parts of the world, there are many challenges to increasing the ethanol blend in petrol, such as infrastructure, cost, product availability and regulatory issues.

In Vietnam, although the law allows for the distribution of different blending percentages on the market, only two products are currently available at local petrol stations, which are unblended petrol and E5 petrol with 5 per cent ethanol.

Biofuel is part of the country’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in line with its commitments under the Paris Agreement (COP21).

The country also aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by between 15.8 per cent and 43.5 per cent by 2030.

In the National Energy Development Master Plan for the 2021-30 period, Vietnam aims to scale up biofuel production to 0.28 million tonnes of oil equivalent (TOE) in 2030.

This figure is expected to reach 13 million TOE in 2050.

Chu Hoàng Hà, managing director of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), said: “This is a big challenge because it requires innovative solutions and collaborative efforts in policies and advanced technology.

“The supply chain for biofuel is another major concern of policymakers, businesses and researchers.”

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