WikiWealth

"Brazil's tropical climate makes it a superb place for the growth of sugar cane and it is the worlds largest producer of sugar cane. Brazil uses sugar cane to produce ethanol, which is far more efficient than producing it from corn. While Brazilian sugar cane ethanol shows an 8 fold return on energy, the United States recives only 1.3 times the amount of energy out of the corn ethanol than is put into it. The process of turning sugar cane from a plant into a burnable fuel uses energy for harvesters and fertilizer. According to a study by the University of Campinas, roughly 250,000 kilojoules of energy is used per tonne of sugar cane. That same tonne of sugar cane produces 2 million kilojoules in ethanol and electricity. Brazilian sugar mills turn the byproduct bagassee into electricity by burning it, and they use other byproducts as fertilizer. Many mills are now creating excess amounts of energy which they sell to the national grid."

Sources:

http://internationalbusiness.wikia.com/wiki/Brazilian_Ethanol_Powered_Cars

William Lemos (2007, November 12). Flex-fuels pump up ethanol. ICIS Chemical Business,26,28.

Goldemberg, José (2006). The ethanol program in Brazil. Institute of Physics Publishing. … "Sugar Cane Ethanol" will have a long-term positive impact on the this entity, which adds to its value.