Biofuel Industry News

  • There are many uses for coconuts, and biofuel could potentially be one of them

Could coconut oil be used in biofuel?

Apr 16 2013 Read 1070 Times

The Coconut Development Board is investigating whether coconut oil could be used as a fuel, it has been reported.

Speaking to Hindu Business Line, TK Jose, chairman of the board, said the organisation has already held discussions with the scientists of IIT Chennai on the possibility of including coconut oil in biofuel research studies.

It is known that the Mechanical Engineering Department of IIT Chennai has already had a number of biofuel breakthroughs.

He added that this sector is a potentially revolutionary one, for example if ten to 20 per cent coconut oil was used in diesel vehicles, or 20 per cent of vehicles began using coconut oil as a fuel.

He added that coconut oil as bio-fuel has great potential as the prices of coconut oil and diesel are now at around the same price.

This follows news that an enzyme used in termite digestion could be the future of biofuel production.

Researchers from Purdue University studied more than 10,000 gene sequences from termites and found there may be some enzymes that help to break down lignin, which is the rigid material difficult to break down in the production of biofuels.

The scientists were of the opinion that it is the bacteria living in the gut of the termite which helps to break down the lignin found in plant wall cells. Results of the investigation found that it is actually gene expression which plays a bigger role in the breakdown of food, rather than the bacteria.

Michael Scharf, professor in urban entomology at Purdue University,commented: “The bacteria communities seem very stable, but the host and the protozoa gene expression are changing a lot based on diet. We see much more of the playing field now.”

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