The once-thriving industry is struggling, buffeted by forces both man-made and natural, but some still see a long-term potential.
A driver operates a mechanized harvester to cut sugar-cane stalks for Cargill Sugar & Ethanol Brazil, near the city of Itumbiara, in Brazil’s Goias state. Multinational companies have invested heavily in Brazil’s ethanol sector, but it is being challenged on multiple fronts. Despite this, Brazil remains a tantalizing prospect for the industry: By 2020, four out of every five cars in the country will be able to run on ethanol. Lianne Milton/For The Washington Post Buy Photo