Yeast revealed as alternative to palm oil (Day 279)

palm oil fruit and oilPalm oil is widely used in the manufacture and production of food and cosmetics ranging from instant noodles to lipstick. This edible vegetable oil is also used to a lesser extent in biofuel production. Today, world production of palm oil and palm kernel oil is around 50 million tonnes per annum.

The oil palm is a very productive crop, and that’s why the two biggest producers of palm oil, Indonesia and Malaysia, can produce and process around 20 million tonnes each per year.

But, palm oil production attracts criticism the world over. Deforestation and the destruction of natural habitats, such as tropical rain forests, are some of the detrimental effects of palm oil plantations.

Palm oil has some very desirable properties, including an exceptionally high melting point and high saturation levels, so it’s easy to see why the palm oil industry isn’t slowing down, despite environmental and sustainability issues.

Researchers at the University of Bath, UK may have discovered a revolutionary palm oil substitute – yeast.

Continue reading Yeast revealed as alternative to palm oil (Day 279)

Espresso fuel (Day 89)

Cooking FatDiesel, petrol and battery power are familiar ways to power our transport. LPG and natural gas are other alternatives.

But there are other more obscure (and sometimes less practical ways) to power vehicles.

Air, waste cooking oil, waste vegetables, beer and spirits, chocolate, nappies (diapers), sawdust, nuts, styrofoam and other waste or co-products all have the potential to fuel cars.

In fact, finding ways to convert industrial co-products into biofuel always seems a sensible and sustainable way to re-use our raw materials – especially for high volume commodities like coffee.

Continue reading Espresso fuel (Day 89)