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An Integrated Supply Chain Perspective Evaluation for Biodiesel Production in Brazil

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Biodiesel has been highlighted as an important source of energy worldwide, but there is still a lack of research focused on Brazil, a major biofuel producer. Within this context, this paper analyzes the biodiesel supply chain developed from oil plants in Brazil and evaluates its feasibility. To achieve this goal, visits in loco and interviews with 42 participants were conducted across different links in the supply chain, from the farming of oil plants (agricultural production) to the extraction of oil and the production of biodiesel, up to its distribution (logistics) and commercialization. The paper also develops an economic evaluation model that generated 204 scenarios for the complete supply chain analysis for biodiesel produced from soybean, palm, castor, and cotton. Despite the many price fluctuations observed since the beginning of this research (end of 2005), for instance the petroleum diesel and oil plant prices, the conclusion of this work is that biofuel can be a feasible fuel alternative in Brazil. However, further studies should be conducted to address pending issues like the possible competition of the biodiesel supply chain with food chains and the expansion of crop cultivation areas into the native flora in Brazil.


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