Biofuels cut Uruguay's annual CO2 emissions by 7%

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Uruguay's transportation sector has achieved an average annual reduction of 7% in CO2 emissions since 2015 as a result of increased use of biofuels, according to a press release from the presidency.

Citing a study by state-owned biofuel producer Alcoholes de Uruguay (Alur), the statement underlines that the use of bioethanol and biodiesel can reduce CO2 emissions by between 60-70% by substituting gasoil and gasoline, proving the sustainability of biofuel use.

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Alur said that it had increased its biofuel production by 50% in 2016.

Increased use of biofuels in the country prevented the emission of 270,000t of CO2 in 2016, around 7% of total annual emissions, Alur said.

The results are in line with the commitments the country set at the COP21 climate agreement in Paris, and with the country's 2005-30 energy policy, which aims to reduce Uruguay's consumption of oil-based fuels by the transport sector by 15%, it added.

The country is among the world's largest consumers of biofuels, production of which is governed by the agro-fuels law, which requires a 6% mix of biodiesel in gasoil and 9-10% of bioethanol in gasoline.

The study into emissions reductions resulting from biofuel use was carried out by Spain's energy, environment and technology research center, with the support of Uruguay's national research and innovation agency.

Alur produces bioethanol from sugarcane at its Bella Unión facility, and from sorghum in Paysandú. It also produces biodiesel from soy oil, beef tallow and used vegetable oil.