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PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, Sept. 7) - Technopro has unveiled a biodiesel fuel- that uses coconut oil.

The company has organized public demonstrations of its biodiesel machine, which produces a fuel that is slightly more expensive that standard diesel fuel sold throughout French Polynesia for motor vehicles, fishing boats and agricultural machinery.

The Temaru government increased the price of unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel by 15 French Pacific francs (US$0.16) per liter, effective September 1, making biodiesel fuel a possible alternative source of energy.

That price hike made the pump price at service stations 143 F CFP (US$1.54) per liter for gasoline and 114 F CFP (US$1.23) per liter for diesel.

When converted to U.S. gallons, the price of gasoline is US$5.82 per gallon and the price of diesel is US$4.64 per gallon.

A biodiesel fuel machine was unveiled by Technopro at the Biofenua stand at the annual Agricultural Fair held on the island of Tahiti.

The process involved is simple. There are two tanks, one with a 150-liter (39.6 U.S. gallon) capacity for the copra oil, the other with a 50-liter (13.2 U.S. gallon) capacity for methanol. An hour is required to mix the two with the aid of a pump. The methanol solidifies the glycerin found in the copra oil. The glycerin that collects at the bottom of the tank is eliminated, leaving a diesel fuel equivalent for use in running engines and machines.

September 8, 2005

Tahitipresse: www.tahitipresse.pf

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