Coconut Diesel for Pacific Islands

While fuel costs are increasing, most consumers in the U.S. can still afford gasoline or diesel fuel for their cars. In less affluent countries, however, the increasing oil prices can create even more critical financial situations. While we all see palm trees as a natural umbrella when lounging on a beach while drinking something fruity out of a pineapple, many impoverished Pacific island nations are looking into coconuts to make biofuel. The fuel would be used for both electricity generation with diesel power generators and transportation fuel. Electricity companies in Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa are testing blends of coconut oil to run power generators. For many of the impoverished Pacific island nations, fuel imports account for more than a quarter of total imports, and the increasing gas prices will further affect their trade deficits. The Solomon Islands, for example, rely on aid for 70 percent of its budget and fuel make up one-third of imports. An Australian Biodiesel Group plans to produce biodiesel using coconut oil in the Solomon Islands. In addition to reducing their fuel imports, the program would stabilize the rural man's income by having a base price for coconut products.
[Source: Planet Ark]

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