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A groundbreaking project from the University of Botswana has produced an alternative low emissions fuel known as B20 biodiesel. The fuel, which does not require any fossil fuels, was recently launched and is ready for use in the university fleet on campus. The developers of this exciting new clean fuel are brimming with excitement as the prospects of bio-diesel production on a commercial level have never been more promising, given the data released from the pilot project. The Biodiesel production is a government-funded joint project between the University of Botswana, the Department of Agricultural Research (DAR), and the Department of Energy in the Ministry of Mineral Resources, and Energy. Speaking recently during the launch of the biofuel in Gaborone, Principal Investigator in the Biodiesel project Prof. Clever Ketlogetswe said, “all the technical aspects of biodiesel production and testing have been accomplished, and I am satisfied with the scientific data generated during the implementation phase of our investigation.” Despite the success of the project, Prof. Ketlogetswe acknowledged that the development of the biodiesel sector in Botswana is facing a significant challenge that requires a collective effort to overcome. The biggest challenge facing the development of biodiesel in Botswana is the fear of the unknown by potential users of blended fuels such as B20. “We therefore need to seriously address the public belief that blended fuel is not good for our vehicles (fear of the unknown).” To unlock the development of biodiesel in Botswana, Prof. Ketlogetswe emphasized the need to remove this fear of the unknown from every citizen of the country. He said, “Blended fuel is the solution to some of our economic and environmental problems.” The University of Botswana has been and continues to perform research on biodiesel production and testing its suitability to develop the required blends as per the biofuel’s guidelines for Botswana. According to Prof. Ketlogetswe, the biofuels guidelines, which were launched by the Ministry of Minerals and Energy in January 2022, are a clear indication of the government of Botswana's commitment to the development of biodiesel in the country. Furthermore, Prof. Ketlogetswe assured all stakeholders that the technical aspects of biodiesel production and testing have been accomplished to satisfactory levels with the scientific data generated during the implementation phase of the investigation. The locally produced fuel, according to Prof. Ketlogetswe, is fully compatible with the emission control catalysis and filters designed to reduce nitrogen oxide and particular matter emission from new diesel engines. The professor continued: “What modifications are we calling to be done in our diesel engine then? We produce biodiesel according to the international standards, namely the ASTM and European biodiesel standards. Our biodiesel is subjected to several tests before producing the required blend using scientifically proven testing equipment.” The optimistic Prof. Ketlogetswe explained that any fear or doubt has since been eliminated at two credible organizations, being the University of Botswana, and Jwaneng Mining Company. “On the day of the launch, UB demonstrated to the entire nation that blended fuel is safe. #biodiesel #cleanenergy #gretathunberg #climatechange #fossilfuels #botswana #botswanatourism

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