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As we learned when we visited last fall, Solazyme is doing some interesting things in its South San Francisco lab. Now, our friends over at Translogic put together a video showing the algae-derived diesel being used in a Volkswagen Passat TDI – as well as getting burned by the US Navy.

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The Brazilian Hyundai subsidiary has launched a Brazil-only flex-fuel model called the HB20. It will be manufactured at its new plant in Piracicaba, Brazil, which starts production September 20 ahead of an early October sales launch.

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A sugar cane shortage in April caused Brazil's ethanol prices to soar, rising 65 percent to $6.31 a gallon or more than double what it was the year before. Since Brazil blends its gasoline with a mandated 25 percent ethanol, the rising cost of the biofuel directly affects pump prices. Even though the U.S. stepped in to assist by shipping some 200 million liters (52.8 million gallons) of ethanol to Brazil, the biofuel shortage has continued to worsen in the South American nation.

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In one of the biggest biofuel deals to date, Shell, along with Cosan – one of the world's leading producers of sugarcane-based ethanol – has launched a multi-billion dollar joint venture (JV) to become a leading producer of the low-carbon biofuel. Named Raízen, this massive retail and commercial fuels company will operate out of Brazil and focus solely on ethanol made from Brazilian sugarcane.

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Photo by petrr. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

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According to an article in The New Economic Times, Fiat is planning to launch a new ethanol-powered engine for the Brazilian market. Ethanol is widely used for fuel in Brazil and half of the country's sugar cane crops are currently used for its production. Fiat intends the motor to be run on fuel that the ethanol producers create themselves, saving on taxes. What is most interesting about this story, though, is that it seems the new engine will be based on a current diesel block. In fact, a smal

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A company based in Wisconsin called ENCAP has attracted some attention from investors when they recently found an agricultural product with which they can produce using the byproducts from the creation of biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel. In fact, they can use "almost any inert material, including byproducts of the sugar cane process, or dried distillers grains from the corn ethanol process", according to Michael Krysiak, president of ENCAP in an interview performed by Inside Greentech. They

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U.S. Congress has voted to protect the domestic ethanol industry and extend the secondary tariff of 54 cents per gallon on imported ethanol. The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) praised the move saying that secondary tariff, which is now in place until January 1, 2009, will ensure continued growth and investment in the domestic ethanol industry. Ethanol currently attracts a 51 cent per gallon blender's credit no matter the country of origin.

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Tom and Ray Magliozzi, who host of the popular NPR program Car Talk as "Click and Clack", address the controversial issue of ethanol efficacy. According to a listener's letter,131,000 British thermal units (BTU) are needed to produce a gallon of ethanol. However, that gallon only produces 77,000 BTU of energy. The listener wonders if the 54,000 BTU shortfall per gallon is truly cost-effective compared to gasoline.

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