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REDUCING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

REDUCING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

Columbus tours is focused on reducing their carbon footprint to make even a tiny impact on our environment and stop global warming. Each time we book a client on a flight, we would like them to contribute a small amount of money towards planting a few trees to offset the amount of carbon that is absorbed into the earths atmosphere, by their long distance flight.

Similarly for clients who visit us from overseas,  on a long haul flight, we would encourage them, during their tour, to stop at a dedicated re-afforestry project and plant a few trees. With this goal in view, we have decided to publish on our blog, all related articles that are environmentally friendly and we would really be happy to have your views on our new initiative

AmazinAsia Blog team would like your views – and as a prelude, we are happy to publish an article From the Sunday Times 7th June 9, 2009 by  Mr. R.S. Keeriyawatta
URL : http://sundaytimes.lk/090607/News/sundaytimesnews_90.html

For the first time anywhere in the world, a team of scientists attached to the Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture (PIA) of the Peradeniya campus, have been able to produce a fuel similar to petrol making use of straw.

Prof. Athula L V Perera, Director PIA said the new fuel is known as ‘Buetanol’. He added 2 kg of straw was needed to turn out one litre of fuel and the new fuel could be used by any vehicle presently using petrol without the need for any engine modification.

He added four years research went into the project while the experimenting and building of the lab took 6 months.
convertor

The brain behind the scheme, under-graduate Priyantha Wijewardene and the locally manufactured convertor

The brains behind this new find were: Prof. M.S. Bandara and Prof. Saliya Silva of the Agro Science Faculty. Associated with the duo was under-graduate Priyantha Wijewardene a research officer of the PIA.

Prof. Perera speaking on the discovery said all machinery used to convert straw into petrol was turned out locally. He said that up to 25% waste straw could be utilised for the project and converting straw unto fuel cost only Rs, 25.00. Speaking further he added that fertiliser and animal foods too could be produced from the straw.

Prof. Bandara who worked with the research officer Priyantha, estimated that of the six and a half million rupees which was spent on the new project, around Rs. 5 million came from Mr. Gratian Gunawardene, chairman of the Hands International Institute while the balance came via the Campus Appropriation Vote and the PIA.

Production centres for the project will be sited in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Hambantota andAmpara where the necessary requirements in raw material for the new fuel are readily available. He added paddy straw can be bought at around Rs. 5.00 a kg which will enhance the income of farmers.

Each of the production centres is estimated to cost Rs. 2,000 million which will yield 120 million litres of fuel per year. He added while several private firms had expressed an interest in financing the project, he felt primary funding should come via the state and investmenmts from friendly nations. He expected profits from the project to be around $ 500 million annually.

Prof. Athula L V Perera

Prof. Athula L V Perera

Priyantha Wijewardene

Priyantha Wijewardene

The brain behind the scheme, under-graduate Priyantha Wijewardene said petrol and petroleum-based products -petrol and diesel- primarily used for transport, industry and heating, had an adverse effect on the atmosphere and were very costly. Alternative bio fuels face problems of manpower and land requirement. The solution to this he said was to make use of waste matter used in agriculture as for example straw.

Paddy production rose to 2. 7 million metric tonnes in 2007 and produced large quantities of straw which have gone waste. Priyantha said straw contained cellons and hemicellon which could be turned into fuel. He added at international level there were moves to produce Buetanol.

In his concluding remarks Prof. Bandara said the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority was very helpful to them in their research.

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