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Sugar cane eyed in battle against CO2

Date Posted: 2009-01-08

Okinawa’s sugar cane industry is gaining international attention as a viable means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions that lead to global warming.
Environmentalists are looking to Miyakojima, which produces thousands of acres of sugar cane. While farmers make money from the cane, the growing fields are proving beneficial in reducing CO2 discharge. Cane trash, called ‘bagas’ is proving usable, where once it was trashed or burned. A machine similar to a generator at Miyakojima’s sugar factory uses bagas to burn and make steam, which turns the turbines and generates electricity.
The process, officials say, saves the industry ¥600 million each year.
Sugar cane is being used to produce a 3% bio-ethanol fuel, and four gas stations are already selling the mixed gasoline. Officials say they’ll soon be making a 100% ethanol fule. “In 2050, Miyakojima is going to use ethanol fuel,” says Miyakojima City’s District Strategy Director. Dai Yonamine says “the bagas generator for all sugar cane production is possible,” and notes Miyakojima is committed to “make it true.”

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