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Japan launches new biofuel made from rice
Published on 20 Jul. 2009 12:05 AM IST
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Japan has started selling of a new biofuel made from rice, which is expected to help the resource poor country reduce its dependence on imported gasolie and make better use of deserted farmland. The Niigata prefecture of Japan has begun the selling of the new biofuel, produced from domestically-grown brown rice and blended with gasolien at a ratio of up to three percent, the Mainichi Daily News newspaper reported Saturday. According to Japan’s National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations Zennoh (JA Zennoh), the bioethanol “is equivalent to regular gasoline both in quality and mileage, and will be available in a similar price range”. “The project will also promote effective utilization of rice paddies that are left uncultivated due to the government’s rice-reduction program,” JA Zennoh said, adding that it was expecting an annual sale of about 33,000 kiloliters. Japanese oil companies started selling gasoline blended with bioethanol in 2007 in some retail markets in the country, but none of the mixtures was previously made with the use of rice. Japan’s annual gasoline demand is estimated at 60 million kiloliters.

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