The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 10, 1976 · Page 43
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 43

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, December 10, 1976
Page 43
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Page 43 article text (OCR)

- i Palm Beach Post, Friday. December 10. 1976 C7 Brazil Aims at Cars Fueled by Homegrown Alcohol V petroleum imports needed for motor transport, which is the primary method of moving goods in the nation. They would like to see oil used almost exclusively for petrochemicals, synthetic materials and plastics. Public interest in the alcohol projects grew in June when Frenchman Jean Pierre Chambrin went to the sugar and alcohol-producing areas of northeastern Brazil and gave demonstrations of a "black box" a device that he said could easily adapt any car to run on a formula of half-water and half-alcohol. Bosco said Chambrin has refused invitations to have his car tested at government laboratories, and added that Chambrin's claim to get 30.5 miles per gallon on a mixture of half-water and half-alcohol was never proven scientifically. "There is no question that a car with 50 per cent alcohol, 50 per cent water will run," Bosco said. "It will run, but we can't analyze the economics of it until we have tested it." A government engineer said he was "very skeptical" about Chambrin's claim that he is running the car on hydrogen molecules freed from water when it is splashed against a surface heated by the motor," said chief Institute engineer Urbano Ernesto Stumpf . Engineers at the Institute, located near the industrial city of Sao Paulo, have been getting between 18.9 and 26.2 miles to the gallon of alcohol in gasoline engines modified to use alcohol. They said the mileage could go higher. If it sticks to its ambitious schedule, Brazil will increase alcohol production from a level just barely sufficient for present industrial and chemical use to 4 million cubic meters by 1980 - a figure equal to about 20 per cent of the country's automotive gasoline use projected for the same year. Bosco, an engineer with masters degrees in nuclear and electrical technology, told UPI the overall plan is to gradually increase the percentage of alcohol used in automobile gasoline, now kept by law to under 5 per cent, to 20 per cent by 1980. At that point, a decision will have to be made on what to do next. Any presently designed and operating car can run on a mixture of four parts of gasoline and one of alcohol, Bosco said. Cars using more alcohol would require modifications. If Brazil went to a 50-50 mixture, for instance, car owners would have to adjust the fuel intake, mixture and exhaust "He's probably just running it on alcohol," he said. The United States, under the leadership of the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA), also is looking at the possibility of using a blend of alcohol and gasoline as a petroleum conservation method. But alcohol costs twice as much as gasoline in the United States. Gene Ecklund, acting chief of ERDA's alternative fuels branch, said the U.S. research emphasis is on methyl alcohol, or methanol, because it can be made from coal. Synthetic gasoline also can be made from coal, however, raising the question of which synthetic fuel would be most economical. A state group in Nebraska, known as the "gasohol" committee, is trying to raise money for construction of a plant there to produce ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, from grain, including spoiled grain. The idea there is to use a 10 per cent blend of ethanol with gasoline. Scientists from Brazil's Aerospacial Technical Institute have concentrated their research on finding a practical way of converting gasoline and diesel-powered engines to a 100 per cent alcohol fuel. "Alcohol is as good, if not better than gasoline, because according to our research, alcohol increases the longevity of of manioc a year in the interior state of Minas Gerais where the plant will be located. Alcohol programs are viewed with such importance that Geisel told his economic development council he wants to know why the bank of Brazil has only freed funding for 10 alcohol distilleries when the council approved 62. Most of the projects already approved will be near sugar refineries and will use sugar as the alcohol-producing raw material. "Actually there's nothing new in running cars on alcohol," said Joao Bosco, the director of Brazil's National Technological Institute. "In fact, between 1925 and 1927 you could buy it at the gas stations right down here at the corner." Except during World, War II when alcohol was used heavily in cars, it was found uneconomical in competition with cheap gasoline. But the increase in the price of petroleum, leaving Brazil with a staggering $3.2 billion bill for imported oil last year, has spurred government scientists to new efforts to convert one of its biggest assets -a huge agriculture productive capacity -into transportation fuel. ! Government high-level economic planners view alcohol as a means of cutting By ROBERT E. SULLIVAN RIO DE JANEIRO (UPI) - Faced with rising gasoline costs, the Brazilian government is developing a program to run its cars on homegrown alcohol. Government scientists have been testing alcohol-burning cars for years, and last year President Ernesto Geisel allocated $470 million for an ambitious project aimed at conserving gasoline by mixing it with alcohol. A gallon of alcohol here now costs between 93 cents and $1.18. Gasoline at the pump costs $1.52 a gallon for regular and $1.76 for high test. Gasoline, however, is more efficient than alcohol. Although alcohol in Brazil is cheaper than gasoline, it is not produced in sufficient quantity to run all the nation's cars, nor are the cars tooled to run on pure alcohol. Some $320 million has been allocated to expand the planting of sugarcane, beet, ba-bassu and manioc for alcohol production, and for the construction of new distilling plants. The government oil company, Petrobras, recently contracted to build an alcohol plant capable of producing 15,600 gallons a day. Six agriculture companies also signed contracts for the production of 123,000 tons Woman Invades Man's Job save m TO 50 West's Best Latex Paints I5ES5 A mJ GALLON KiV-Ci JMjh i-V ifPV MwM . V-', mm4 - fi '1 J" EXTERIOR Regular $11.99 ST. PAUL, Minn. (UPI) - Bobbi Walk, 30, drives a motorcycle escort for funeral processions on weekends - the only woman on the same job as 10 men. Weekdays she is a draftsman, another male-dominated job. "I'm not a women's libber," Mrs. Walk said. "But I'm all for equal pay for equal work." She drives a blue with white trim police-sized motorcycle and wears a uniform with a badge. "People think we are officers," she said. Usually, she works alone. "The trick is to keep all the cars in the funeral procession together, so other cars don't cut in," she said. "I get out in the middle of the intersection and start stopping traffic. 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