Brazilian efforts in technical analytical standards applied to the quality control of bioethanol
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The search for renewable energy sources, especially for bioethanol, has attracted a lot of attention from researchers, businesses, and governments, due to economic, geopolitical, and environmental reasons. In the global market, the demand for bioethanol is increasing and being stimulated by public policies aimed at the modernization of the global energy matrix through the use of alternative kinds of fuel derived from petroleum, and which lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions. To maintain the leading position in production and marketing, ethanol was formally introduced in the Brazilian energy matrix in 2005, by the federal law no. 11.097, and to ensure it is commercialized in a highly globalized and competitive market, quality and price are decisive. The quality of bioethanol in Brazil is supported by three federal agencies: the Brazilian Technical Standards Association (ABNT), responsible for technical standardization; the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas, and Biofuels (ANP), responsible for the definition of standardized specifications and quality control; and the National Institute of Metrology, Quality, and Technology (Inmetro), responsible for metrology standards. In this paper, the fundamental aspects of bioethanol’s quality assurance through standardized specifications, the official technical standards analysis, the analytical methods and the certified reference materials from regulatory authorities have been minutely described. Quality control should be implemented in order to reduce the cost of non-quality products, increase product reliability, reduce the rates of nonconformities, and assuage the technical barriers to commercialization of ethanol worldwide.