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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 18 Nov 1942

Vol. 88 No. 16

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Alternative Motor Transport Fuel.

asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state what efforts are being made to discover alternative fuels for motor transport: and what progress, if any, has attended these efforts.

The Emergency Scientific Research Bureau has, since its inception, been giving continuous attention to the problem of alternative fuels for motor transport and has concluded that producer gas plants form the only approach to its solution. The bureau is making researches into the best solid fuels for this purpose and also into the question of the most reliable type of plant, and is in close touch with commercial firms who have successful producer vehicles in operation. The greatest difficulty arises from the inadequate supplies of the necessary solid fuel in the event of a further reduction in the supply of liquid fuel. Supplies of native anthracite, suitable for mobile producers, would be inadequate for the country's requirements if petrol went off the market. The alternatives to anthracite are wood charcoal and turf charcoal. Wood charcoal is at present being produced in fair quantities as the result of private commercial effort. The Emergency Scientific Research Bureau, in conjunction with the Turf Development Board, is developing methods for producing turf charcoal both in a large experimental plant and by means of pits. Consideration is being given to the production of turf charcoal by these means in various parts of the country.