A Journey in Search of Bio-Synthetic Fuel

832 points

Dr. Arun Rao is a scientist. He has been working on a project for about twenty years. The project is to synthesize biofuel from plant matter, such as twigs of plants, leaves, sprouts, seeds, bark, chips and even other parts of trees. One can use the waste material from wheat, maize and sugarcane plants.

And after the hard work of years, he is successful- in synthesizing biofuel, which is petrol and diesel. The fuel is cheap, efficient, eco-friendly and does not increase carbon dioxide emissions. Hence, it would diminish the greenhouse effect.

The news spreads in the city. Hence, it results in the town’s talk.

Reporter: Mr. Arun, what prompted you to work on this project?

‘Yes, it was my dream. It was a quest for a cheap biofuel,’ answers the scientist.

‘Can you give me the formula to prepare it?’ smiles the reporter.

‘Yes, I have published a paper in the ‘Nature journal.’ But, the information about the catalyst, the promoter and the ‘initiator’ is a top secret. I haven’t disclosed it,’ says Arun.

‘Sir, can you show me your laboratory?’ enquires the reporter.

‘Why not? Let’s have a look at it,’ says the scientist.

They enter a building near his house. There is a machine lying in the hall.

‘There are four compartments. The fine powder of plant products, along with the catalyst, passes in the first vessel. It mixes up and goes to the second chamber, where we add the prompter and the initiator (liquid oil). Now, the liquid mixture passes on to the third chamber. In this chamber, we maintain the temperature and pressure for a specific period. The tank is our fourth chamber where the final product accumulates. A pump ejects the liquid fuel from the tank,’ explains he.

People rush towards his fuel centre to get cheaper fuel. The news spreads throughout the state.

Hence, the police arrive to control the situation.

‘Mr. Arun, you cannot sell petrol in this way. You should have government approval,’ says the police.

‘Sure sir, I shall complete the formalities within two days,’ answers he.

The police advise him to make everything legal.

The next day, Mr Arun and his fellow scientists leave for Delhi to meet the director of the Petroleum Conservation Research Association-PCRA and the petroleum minister.

They stay in a hotel.

An unknown person enters their room at night.

‘I suppose you are Dr Arun,’ enquires the person

‘Yes, I am. I am the scientist,’ Arun confirms.

‘Dr. Arun, how much money do you want? Give me your bank details, and I will transfer any amount you speak of. If you want some time, this is my contact number. But you must stop producing fuel, put a full stop to your research and close your laboratory. Our ‘P’ lobby is tracking your movements,’ warns the intruder.

He gives two days.

The next day, Arun and his friend decide not to surrender. Thus, they make a phone call to the police for protection.

Unfortunately, before the police arrive, there is a fire, and Dr Arun dies of a bullet wound. They burn his laboratory and destroy it.

There is an end to the journey in search of a bio-synthetic fuel. Really, it’s a great loss to humanity.

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