HRH opens fuels symposium

KARON: HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn this morning presided over the opening ceremony of the 14th International Symposium on Alcohol Fuels (ISAF) at the Phuket Arcadia Beach Resort. HRH arrived in Phuket on Monday, attending a dinner that evening hosted by the Club des Chefs des Chefs – chefs to heads of state – and then taking time for private activities before today’s ceremony. She left for Bangkok this afternoon. The topic of the symposium, which attracted some 300 people from as far away as Sweden and Brazil, was the role of alcohol fuels in meeting the energy, environmental and economic needs of the 21st century. The half-day symposium featured many showcases of products, a demonstration of model aircraft powered by ethanol engines, and a number of ethanol-fueled pickup trucks. Associate Professor Dr Paritud Bhandhubanyong, Director of the National Metal and Materials Technology Center (MTEC) said that the main objective of the meeting was to offer opportunities to exchange information and forge new relationships among researchers and companies that are interested in using ethanol as source of energy. Dr Paritud said, “Our primary objective is to explore the future for alcohol fuels and alternative-fuel vehicles to reduce the use of gasoline or diesel, in order to reduce pollution and to help farmers to maintain prices of their crops.” For example, he said, cassava farmers in Thailand currently get 1.50 baht per kilo for their produce, but prices have fallen in the past to as little as 40 satang. Demand for cassava to make ethanol would create a new market for them, and help to bolster prices. In addition, he said, ethanol – which can also be made from sugar cane – is a cleaner fuel. “For example, if we use a mixture of 10% ethanol with 90% gasoline, it will reduce carbon monoxide emissions by about 20% and sulfer dioxide emissions by about 25-30%.” Dr Paritud said that a program will be introduced whereby tourism provinces such as Phuket will be invited to introduce ethanol use as a way of reducing pollution.

Phuket News
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