An alternative source of energy and money for indigenous farmers
The driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, wouldn’t seem an auspicious place for biofuel production.
Biotechnology experts, however, may have found a way to turn one of the desert’s only available plants, the cactus, into energy.
A US$500,000 pilot project in the Río Jorquera Valley in the Copiapó province aims to reduce Nopal cactus stems to high-energy dry briquettes that can be burned in coal-fired thermoelectric plants.
Anatoly came to journalism via a career as an energy analyst in the UK. Born in Siberia, he was drawn to Chile by its mountains and forests, as well as the dynamism of its society. After a long cycling trip through the country - done highly erroneously with skinny London-style bike tyres - he´s ready to scoop Santiago´s business world.