2016, September

Filipinos of this generation associate nipa palm with the rooftops of old farm huts in the middle of fields tended by their grandparents. But residents of Brgy. Cabaggan in this Cagayan town have known for decades that sap extracted from nipa palm helps the neighborhood make “lambanog” (local wine). Now comes a team of experts from the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) which may have discovered a new by- product of the community’s vast nipa stands along the stretch of the Pamplona River— bioethanol. Producing as much as 26,000 liters of alcohol in a hectare a year, nipa is four times more productive than sugarcane, which is also a source of alcohol. A hectare of sugarcane generates 6,700 liters of alcohol. With a capacity to produce 850 liters of bioethanol each day, the Pamplona distillery is expected to lead the way as the first local trading center of ethanol supply in the country.

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