Yes, you read the title correctly! I am wondering if the Carabao can be at least a part of a way to resolve Global Warming, and I am not joking! I recently read an article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer which told of a scientist who believes that he can use the carabao to alleviate Global Warming!
How, you ask? Well, it is somewhat complicated. But, you see, the carabao can eat almost anything. It has “rumen fluid” in it’s stomac, which contains organisms that can things like rice stubble into biofuels! You know the stubble that covers a piece of rice? It is a tough substance that generally cannot be eaten. When rice farmers harvest their crops, you will see piles of that chafe out in the fields, and later after the stubble has dried, it will be burned. However, scientist Fiorello Abenes says that this chafe can be turned to biofuel by the digestive enzymes of a carabao, and that this substance can be turned into a biofuel as it is digested!
Dr. Abanes, who has been a scientist in the USA in previous years but is returning to the Philippines, has theorized about this, and taken it a step further! His theories were recently tested, and confirmed by the Philippine Carabao Center. Abanes is no fake either, he received his doctorate degree at the University of Connecticut in 1975. He went on to work as a regional swine specialist in Alberta, Canada. He also worked at the Dairy Training and Research Institute, which is part of the Food and Agriculture Organization in the USA. After this, he went on to work CalPoly Pomona University in California.
So, Dr. Abanes’ procedure would be to take waste products, like the stubble of rice and mix carabao rumen fluid with it to produce the fuel. After this step, yeast would be added to complete the process.
This method is quite timely too, because last year the Philippines’ passed a new law dealing with using crops to create biofuel. Early this year, though, and expert from abroad came to the Philippines and said that making biofuel was not a suitable target for the Philippines to pursue. The reason? The Philippines already has shortages in food (mainly rice), and using the food to create fuel will only leave more of a food shortage, forcing food to be imported. This expert said that there would be no economic gain from the biofuel production.
Now, however, if Dr. Abanes can really perfect his process, biofuel can be created from an agricultural waste product! This would leave food for the people, and fuel as a byproduct. If this would work, it would be an ingenious idea, and an idea who’s time has come!
Yes, I’d love to see the carabao become a hero for it’s ability to aid in the Global Warming crisis!