BiodieselFAO: An Integrated Decision Support System for Investment Analysis in the Biodiesel Production Chain

Aziz Galvão da Silva Júnior


In the short and medium terms, biofuels are the most viable alternative to reduce the environmental impact of fossil fuels. The recent controversy over the competition between biofuels and food production increases the complexity of investment decisions in the biodiesel production chain. In this context, decision support tools are highly relevant. The purpose of this article is to describe the BiodieselFAO using the Unified Modeling Language (UML). An integrated analysis considering both agricultural and industrial sectors was identified as a key requirement to the system. Therefore, farmers and industry are the main actors in the use case diagram. As the raw material represents around 70% of the industrial cost of biodiesel production, the price negotiation of raw material (oilseeds) is the central use case. Configuration, agriculture, industry, results and scenarios are the modules, which encompass the functionalities derived from the UML diagrams. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has made the BiodieselFAO available, free of charge, to around 180 professionals from 17 Latin American countries. Additionally, the developing team has supported the usage of the BiodieselFAO in several biodiesel investment analyses throughout Latin America. The system was also useful in the design and analysis of policy related to biodiesel industry in Brazil.


biofuels; decision support system; investmen; analysis; UML

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ISSN 1869-6945


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