Going through old newspapers gives a pleasure of sinking yourself in the news of old times. It is a surprise sometimes to see that the old time discoveries have not brought the change where necessary.
In October 2009, a reporter quotes a statement from Former Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka on using sugar cane to produce ethanol and electricity. Citing the use of ethanol in powering vehicles in Brazil he had drawn the need of research to be done on finding the ability of sugar canes in producing ethanol. Also on using the dry pulpy residue left over in sugar production to generate electricity.
Later in 2010, Dr. P.G. Rthnasri, of the Department of Chemical and process Engineering, University of Moratuwa has announced the successful results in testing bio-methane
as a fuel on three-wheelers, made out of bio-degradable resources. It was said that they used the waste generated in students’ canteens and water hyacinth from Bolgoda Lake to form the gas which was then purified to remove CO2 and then stored the compressed gas. However, a similar system is now being used in household cooking purpose.
May 2010, Dr. Sandya Gunawardena, of the Department of Chemical and process Engineering, University of Moratuwa has announced the successful completion of the study on using bio-diesel produced from rubber seed oil by using a three wheeler on test drive. It was said that this oil can be used in any diesel engine to a proportion. Furthermore, the research team have tested using waste cooking oil into bio-diesel which was a pilot project by that time.
In March 2010, it was a full page advertisement, the discovery of petrol made out of waste plastic and polythene by Mr. Ananda Withanage.
It was the plan at that time to provide 43 000 three wheelers with petrol made out of polythene and plastic to run 150 km per day. May be, it would have been the emissions that stopped the implementation of this project.
However, it all definitely brings the question on “why the alternative bio-fuel is not in use?”, which is a topic that worth bringing back on stage….