A Study of Brazilian and American Alternatives to Reduce the Emission of CO2 by the Automotive Fleet

Aurenice M. Oliveira, Alex Santos, and Felipe Custodio


Energy Efficiency, Ethanol, Renewable Energy, CO2, Emissions, Globalization


The increasing in oil price and the growing scientific consensus that increasing levels of greenhouse gas emissions are changing the Earth’s climate are compelling vehicle manufacturers to come up with environmental friendly, fuel efficient, and alternative fueled vehicles. In this paper, we make a comparative analysis of energy efficient solutions adopted by the two leading economies of the northern and southern parts of the Western Hemisphere, the United States and Brazil, to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) by the automotive fleet. In addition, we present a study of the differences in ethanol production in the U.S. (corn ethanol) and in Brazil (sugarcane ethanol), which involve several aspects from social and ethical (the “food versus fuel” debate), to energy efficiency reached by each of these two types of ethanol. The results presented in this paper is based on undergraduate research by engineering students participating in “the U.S.–Brazil Engineering Education Consortium on Renewable Energy” funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education and CAPES–Brazil. Engineering graduates are now required to work in an increasingly globalized world, where most large engineering projects require multi-national teams to work together. By participating in an exchange program, students have opportunity to broader their views, and to have a better understanding of global issues.

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