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Bali’s magic fuel
December 5th, 2007, filed by Alister Doyle By Adhityani Arga Gasoline made from plain water? An Indonesian company says it’s possible. In a lavish ceremony held on the sidelines of this week’s U.N.’s climate talks in Bali, the company launched a range of gasoline and diesel products under the name “blue energy” witnessed by Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono himself. Just days before the launch, Indonesia’s environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar said that the country would have “its own fuel made out of plain water”. Five cars, pumped with “blue energy” that have made a 5-day trip from Jakarta to Bali went through a pollution test. The result: 50 percent lower emissions on average. Yudhoyono dubbed this “a winner for Indonesia”, cheered by the crowd in white-blue uniforms, while songs, written and composed by the president himself, played in the background. The company’s chairman said this could be Indonesia’s way out of the oil economy. In short, it’s a magic fuel. But the magic faded. The fuel is essentially a refined form of the liquid waste you get from oil drilling that would have otherwise have been pumped back underground. It has some element of hydrogen but it’s clearly not plain water. The science behind the new fuel is a bit of a blur. Chairman Heru Lelono admitted that this wasn’t new technology, in fact, many have done this before. The fact that the scientific explanations spread across the advertising panels were drowned by the patriotic jargons (”The Fuel of a United Indonesia” for instance) didn’t help either. Critics said the fuel was over-hyped while others cautiously applaud the effort, saying there needs to be more testing done and that the science behind the magic needs to be put under public scrutiny. Lelono took the criticism lightly. With strong political backing (the president co-founded a charity that later became the core of the company) he has set his aims high: to replace fossil fuel with water and reduce Indonesia’s emission. All he needs is a few billion dollars.

What’s good for trout may not always be green ‘Klimakatastrophe’ picked as Germany’s word of year Seeing the light? What’s a Kyoto sceptic doing at the Bali talks? Bali - hand in hand or arm wrestling?

Alister Doyle Claudia Parsons Daniel Wallis David Fogarty Deborah Zabarenko Ed Stoddard Erik Kirschbaum Gelu Sulugiuc Gerard Wynn Jason Szep Jeremy Lovell Lars Paronen Mark Jones Mary Milliken Peter Griffiths Stephen Addison Tim Gardner

December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007

New York Times science blog Real Climate




Copyright Reuters. This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 at 9:40 am and is filed under Environment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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1. Liz Garrett says:
December 6th, 2007 at 3:47 am GMT

An Excerpt from: Energy Dinosaurs “The key to preventing the mass species extinction and preserving human cultures is one of creating the opportunity for humans to evolve at very low rates of energy (and material) consumption.”

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12/8/2007 7:06 PM

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