Hello Everyone,
I waz going through the newspaper and got my eye on this news which says "
Dates could hold future of creating local biofuel

so thought of sharing it here..

Dates could hold the answer to creating a cheap and readily accessible biofuel in the UAE thanks to their high sugar levels which can be turned into ethanol fuel. The technology exists, however the concept lacks investors despite the enormous amount of dates which go to waste every year in the Arab world.

In the UAE alone, from 50,000 to 80,000 metric tonnes of dates are grown in excess, which could fuel the production of 17,000 to 26,000 tonnes of bio-ethanol - enough to meet the needs of UAE taxis, trucks or buses, or corporate fleets, according to Dr Abdul Ouahhab Zaid, professor and chief technical adviser and director of the Date Palm Research and Development Programme from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) based at the UAE University (UAEU) in Al Ain.

Biofuels can be used as alternatives to petrol to power cars and trucks and are easy to manufacture from common crops such as sugar cane, potato, corn or sugar beet. Dates however, have not been exploited in this field until now despite the fact they can produce more biofuel per hectare than sugar cane or sugar beet.
"The use of five per cent of bio-ethanol into fossil fuels will reduce the emission of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere by 25 to 30 per cent. But, more importantly, creating such an industry will call for more palm tree plantations that will act as a true carbon sync to offset carbon dioxide that is released in the atmosphere," Zaid said.
Covering desert areas with palm trees would diminish the reflection of the solar rays from the soil to the higher layers of the atmosphere which would reduce heat and combat the greenhouse effect currently heating up the planet, he said.

Planting more date palms would serve to combat desertification, offset carbon emissions from the hydrocarbon industries, and create jobs. However the transformation of date to fuel has to be profitable to date growers.

"Palm growers will see their whole production sold, not only the [dates] fit for human consumption - but farmers must have added benefits and be associated to the benefits of the decrease of carbon dioxide they are contributing to by expanding palm trees plantation. The stream of their revenue must be constituted not only by the sale of the dates but also by the part they are taking in combating pollution," said Professor Zaid.

The feasibility of creating Nakhoil - from the Arabic word Nakheel meaning palm, and oil - has been studied by Brahim Zitouni, President of Oasis Ltd.

Zitouni's company, headquartered in Algeria, has a developmental approach to creating clean fuel, byproducts such as flour or coffee from the date stone and - more importantly - create jobs with added value for date palm farmers.
"We are trying to promote this business in the region not by asking governments if they want to turn dates into biofuel, but by asking them if they want to make $200 [Dh735] per tonne of dates," said Zitouni.

Extending palm gardens also provide more agricultural land in the shade of trees by incorporating best practices for farming and irrigation. The byproducts are also widespread. The stone and fibres of the date can be made into breakfast cereals as well as coffee or integrated into plastics.

One tonne of dates contains 160 kilogrammes of stones, 135 kilogrammes of fibre, 100 kilogrammes of protein and 180 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere, which can be used to carbonate drinks. It can yield 280 litres of ethanol, compared to 75 litres from one tonne of sugar cane and 116 litres from a tonne of sugar beet.

Date palms are the fastest growing herb [the date palm is not classed as a tree] sprouting one metre every year.
"It is the fastest growing in the world and most underused in the Arab world because we have too much reliance on fossil fuels and biomass from date palms can help food security and will be renewed every year," said Zitouni.

On average, a date palm produces 50 kilogrammes of dates, but with adequate care can actually yield up to 200 kilogrammes of dates annually. However, despite the numerous varieties of dates grown, only a few are actually sold.

the Question is
What do you think of this report? Do you think such a process would be feasible? How do you see this impact date palm growers?