Sunday, October 14, 2007

Future Day Coconut

If you traveled around Dinagat Island you will noticed most of the land is covered with coconut trees. Except with the mountains though which is still covered with forest trees. Yes coconut farming before is the main livelihood of the people. Copra which came from coconut is so valuable, families depend on it to send children to school. Remember those days we got a new pair of shoes and a shirt because we had traded sacks of copra to Surigao City? That was Libjo's good old days. Now copras price devalued and everything seems so expensive we cannot depend on copra alone. We need to look for work somewhere else to support the family.

But Coconut might be coming back. As you'll know government around the world is looking and pushing for the used of alternative fuel. Biofuel that is. We are starting using ethanol byproduct of corn in the gasoline for example. And car companies are building more fuel efficient engines. Like Volkswagen now releasing cars run by diesel. Actually 50 percent (some sources said) of the cars in Europe is run by newer diesel engines and that will continue to grow as new technology of engines comes with more mileage fuel ratio. Get what I'm thinking?

During the World War II in the Philippines because diesel scarce during those times Americans use coconut oil to fuel machinery. Actually with our existing engines, we can. The only problem with it is it easily solidify in lower temperatures (below 25 degrees Celsius / 78 Fahrenheit). Not really a problem in the tropical temperature though. What some Pacific neighbors like Indonesia already doing is they mix coconut fuel with diesel. They found a good mixture of diesel and coconut oil of 50 by 50 percent really works.

And there might be some technology coming up using pure coconut byproduct. I'm not sure about that. But since Philippines is the third world largest producer of coconut oil after Indonesia and India It could be a major player when these days comes and coconut will be back a major commodity home.

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