Iowa Ag Review


I ncreased interest in biofuels can be attributed to environmental, economic, and geo-political factors. Harmful emissions, high crude oil prices, and the growing dependency on foreign oil supplies all provide incentives for pursuing alternative fuel sources. However, the rising importance of ethanol can also be attributed to the desire by countries to develop new markets for agricultural products. This push is currently policy driven, for example, in the United States through the U.S. energy bill. Even Brazil, an established producer and consumer of ethanol, used mandates to encourage the use of ethanol when it launched its ethanol program, the National Alcohol Programme (PROALCOOL), in the mid-1970s.