A high school dropout from Tamil Nadu, India created
history when he turned water into a petrol-like fuel by
mixing it with a herb he discovered in the hills.
What this discovery means is that given the herb you
can convert plain tap water into a fuel that can drive your
vehicle. In fact 30-year-old Ramar Pillai who discovered the
amazing herb seven years ago has been doing precisely that
in his village near Rajapalayam in TamilNadu.
The product burnt with a sooty flame, smelled like kerosene
and on distillation yielded a pure hydrocarbon fraction with
a boiling point of 170 Celsius.
Simultaneously, the best scientists in the country are
going to be assembled to understand the chemical process in
detail before setting up a plant with a production capacity
of one million litres herbal fuel a day.
To produce petrol, leaves and barks of this plant are
cooked for about 10 minutes in hot water. The mixture is
cooled and stirred after adding a little salt, citric acid
and traces of a few unknown chemicals. Once allowed to
settle the liquid fuel, which is lighter than water, floats
and is separated by filtration. The entire process takes
less than 30 minutes.
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