Since the mid-1990s there has been a growing worldwide interest in alternative transport fuels, of which ethanol is among the most promising options. This interest has in recent years gathered pace, stimulated by high oil prices and the generally perceived view that this trend is likely to accentuate in the future. The need to reduce GHG emissions is also a fundamental reason for this interest. The focus of this paper is on fuel ethanol production from sugar and starches with emphasis on short-term issues and implications for the global market. Replacing 10-20 % of petrol with ethanol is a feasible and desired option.

The international market in fuel ethanol is in its initial stage and its full development will require the diversification of production, in terms of both feedstocks and number of producing countries. Sustainable production should become a requirement for which certification seems to be a necessity, but should be defined to assure sustainability in a broad sense so that it does not impose additional barriers to trade; policies should be defined to induce market competitiveness and sustainable development.

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Contact Person: 
Frank Rosillo-Calle
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Author: 
Frank Rosillo-Calle
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