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Reader feedback: Pity the lack of investment

Re: Running on rapeseed, By Marta Ďurianová, November 28-December 4, 2005

When Diesel designed his engine he actually used rapeseed oil to run it. That is not surprising, for diesel fuel was of course not available at the time.

Older generation diesel cars can still run on the rapeseed oil one can buy in shops, but unfortunately, rapeseed oil in shops in Slovakia costs as much as diesel at the pump. Be that as it may, I am surprised that in a country where in season many fields are covered in bright yellow rapeseed, bio-diesel is starting to be looked at only now.

In addition to rapeseed oil, ethanol produced from beet could be seriously looked at, especially seeing that the EU has reduced the going sugar price by 36 percent.

The South African fuel-from-coal company Sasol produces a substance called "rustblock", which can be added to petrol that has been mixed with alcohol, preventing the extra moisture alcohol creates in the engine causing any damage.

Locally produced rapeseed oil and ethanol could jointly account for between 15 and 20 percent of the liquid fuels consumed in Slovakia, saving foreign exchange, reducing dependency and creating jobs. The difficulty is of course that such a project would require serious medium to long-term state assistance, but the Slovak government, by the looks of it, regards joining the eurozone in 2009 as more important. Pity.

Oscar,
Radošovce, Slovakia

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