Biofuels Markets Americas 2007
Green Power Conferences
will be hosting the Biofuels Markets Americas conference on April 3rd and 4th, 2007 at the Sofitel Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Biofuels Markets Americas is part of the Biofuels Markets Global Series of events which attracted over 1000 industry executives from 64 countries in 2006. This year’s conference will build on the success of the 2006 conference and focus on the challenges and opportunities for the biofuels industry throughout the region. Last year’s event brought together over 120 experts from 17 countries and this year they anticipate even more.
Guest speaker Michael Warren heads up the strategic research team for Toyota’s Latin American operations and manages Toyota’s renewable fuels research group in the Americas. He has recently been appointed to the board of directors of Green Plains Renewable Fuels.
Michael will be speaking at
Biofuels Markets Americas
, Rio, 3-4 April 2007.
What do you think is the ideal climate friendly transport solution in the short term (1-3 years)?
In my opinion, the ideal climate friendly transport solution in the short term would be the development of flex-fuel hybrid vehicles. Some companies are in the early stages of developing these engines, but they may be too expensive for emerging market economies. European and US consumers, however, could afford such powertrain applications.
What do you think is the ideal climate friendly transport solution in the longer term (3-10 years)?
I am not sure if hydrogen can be developed over the next ten years. Plug-in hybrids could be part of the answer if battery cell technology improves. Production of cellulosic ethanol — instead of corn-based or sugar-cane based ethanol — would be more environmentally friendly; and I think that it has the greatest possibility of success over the
next ten years.
What is the greatest impact or concern of increasing usage of renewable fuels for a vehicle manufacturer?
Automotive manufacturers are concerned that different renewable fuel blends will require different engines. In Brazil, the E-100 hydrous ethanol flex fuel engine requires a sub-tank, while the US uses an anhydrous E-85 blend that does not require a sub-tank. Although some parts are similar, these are two different engines, which reduce economies of scale and increase prices for consumers. We would like to see a uniform renewable fuel blend for the hemisphere.
Are there any renewable fuel formats that Toyota favours?
Toyota does not favor any renewable fuel format. Toyota stands by its hybrid technology and believes that it is environmentally friendly and a huge step in the right direction. We are also producing flex fuel engines for Brazil right now and developing a flex fuel engine for the US. Our diesel engine teams are also examining biodiesel engine options.
In your opinion – In 2010 renewable fuels will make up X% of total road transport fuels?
Our office — Toyota Motor North America, Miami Office — is very optimistic on renewable fuels use in the world. We project that total renewable fuel use will equal 10.8% of the total road transport fuels by 2010, more than doubling from 5.5% in 2006. The breakdown will be 7.6% ethanol used in gasoline engines; and 3.2% bio-diesel used in diesel engines. We consider “renewable bio-diesel alternative fuels” — soy oil injected in the diesel fuel process at the refinery — as a renewable fuel.
Michael is amongst the speakers at