A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Posted 4:52 PM by Tevita
Could coconuts power cars in Fallon?
From: Lahontan Valley News
Publisher EmeritusThe high cost of gasoline is causing escalating financial pain to thousands of drivers in Fallon and Churchill County.A round trip to Reno or Carson City for daily commuters or those on shopping trips and medical appointments can set drivers back about $25 in fuel costs.
As a consequence of rising gas prices, every day we read in the papers and hear on radio and TV about alternative remedies being sought for the traditional gasoline-powered engine.Ethanol, utilizing a mixture of corn and gasoline, is being sold in some parts of the country.
Car and truck manufacturers are building more and more hybrid vehicles that run on both gasoline and electric power.In the desperate search to find substitutes for the gasoline engine, scientists have even turned to the Stirling Engine, invented in 1816 by Scotsman Robert Stirling.
Southern California Edison and the Phoenix-headquartered Stirling Energy System are working together to refine Robert Sterling's 191-year-old invention, an engine that is fueled by air alternately warmed and cooled that ultimately creates a heat exchange that powers pistons that in turn power an engine.
Closer to home, a bio-diesel plant will be built in Hazen that can convert soy oil into an agricultural bio-diesel product that can be turned into a motor fuel.But, hey, I've got even a better plan for beating the high cost of gasoline in Northern Nevada and the rest of the nation:Why not consider the use of coconut oil as a substitute for gasoline?Don't snicker.
Coconut oil today is being used in a few parts of the world, and I saw it in use four months ago during the week I spent in the Marshall Islands in the mid-Pacific.During my stay in Majuro, capital of the 60,000-inhabitant independent nation, I met Jerry Kramer, an expatriate American who owns several major construction companies, shipping lines and a major hotel on Majuro Atoll.These businesses operate under Kramer's Pacific International Inc., and one of the subsidiaries is his Toblar Copra Processing Authority.
Copra is the dried meat of the insides of a coconut. Coconut oil, in turn, is produced from the grinding, processing and boiling in water of copra. Copra is harvested from the countless coconut trees found in the Marshalls and other islands of the Pacific. Coconut trees also grow in Hawaii, Florida and Southern California."
David, you won't believe it, but at my Toblar plant here on Majuro we're turning coconut oil into fuel for cars and trucks. Several of my company's vehicles are running on coconut oil. I'll arrange a visit for you at our coconut oil plant," he told me.
An hour later, I was inside the massive Toblar plant with its assistant manager, Witon Barry, as my guide.Pointing outside to the pier where a large inter-island ship was tied up, Barry told me the vessel had just brought in a load of coconuts from the outer islands that was now being processed into copra and coconut oil."We use the oil to run our vehicles, and the rest of the copra is used for making soap, body oils and other products.
The husks of the coconuts' outer shells are used to make such products as ropes, brooms, door mats, the inside padding of automobile seats and charcoal.
"But it was the use of coconut oil that interested me the most, and Barry took me to an outside pump where coconut oil was being inserted into a Mazda diesel pickup truck. "We can use the coconut oil only on diesel engines, and we use a mixture of 70 percent coconut oil and 30 percent kerosene. We use them on our cars, trucks, boats and heavy equipment. Several government cars also run on coconut oil and fill up at our pump. We've had no problems with the diesel engines," he added.
Coconut oil-powered diesel vehicles are being used in other Pacific nations such as Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, Fiji and Vanuatu. In the latter nation, most of the government cars are run on coconut oil as well as rental cars, cranes and heavy-duty trucks.Operators of these vehicles report that the coconut oil burns slower than regular diesel, produces more even pressure on engine pistons, reduces engine wear and lubricates the engines more effectively.
So why not experiment with coconut oil in Churchill County? Forward-looking folks are now growing grapes here to make into wine. Are there any entrepreneurs out there who can also introduce coconut trees to the Oasis of Nevada?
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