King's Car Runs on Palm Oil

Thailand, along with the rest of the world, is starting to face up to the fact that oil will not last much longer. Estimates put the end of oil anywhere between 25 and 50 years from now. But the time frame in which oil will run out is not important to know. Oil is getting harder to find and demand is rising, pushing prices ever higher.

Thailand is reacting to the problem now as it is forced to do something to attempt to reduce energy spending and develop programs to make Thailand more self-sufficient when it comes to energy. Gasohol 95 and 91 are at least a start on the road to providing sustainable alternatives. But there doesn't seem to be a lot of imagination or innovation being put to use, and it will take more than blending some ethanol into petrol to solve the problem.

Other government efforts to reduce demand for power include forcing shops to close earlier and asking people to turn off their Televisions at certain times to conserve energy.

During the King's Birthday Speech this year he suggested that palm oil derived biodiesel seems to be a good substitute. He went on to say that one of his own cars runs on 100% biodiesel, made from palm oil. The King reminded the assembled guests (government officials) that they would have to work very hard, and study to find substitutes for existing energy sources which could run out in "years or decades."

The King said that Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra had seen the Royal car running which runs on palm oil and the PM had commented that the exhaust had a nice smell. The King said, that in addition to smelling nice, it will not cause cancer.

There are very few diesel-powerd passenger cars in Thailand, however there are a lot of diesel-powered pickup trucks. A biodiesel substitute would be very suitable for use in these type of vehicle.