|Diagram of Coconut Fruit Nuts|
Photo: Biology Dept., University of Hamburg, Germany
Coconuts are one example of a high-lignan biomass that is readily available throughout southeast Asia. According to the PNAS article, it could potential generate 8-30% of total energy needs in Sri Lanka, 7-25% in the Philippines, 4-13% in Indonesia, and 1-3% in India. This is based on an estimated 24-31 million tone of endocarp available each year. Most of this is in coconut production. Approximately 55% of all global endocarp production comes from coconuts with another 17% from mangoes. The greatest amount of coconut production worldwide is in Bangladesh, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
When interviewed by SciDev.Net, Wais Kabir, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute about the findings in the PNAS article stated that "most of the country's agricultural waste, including non-edible by-products, was already used to generate bioenergy. ... I don't think that supply of adequate volumes of coconut shell, [for example] to run a power plant, is possible at this stage until we go for its production in a planned way."
Authors of the PNAS article "acknowledged that efforts to scale up infrastructure to deliver decentralised bio-energy in developing countries would face economic, technical and social challenges."
Islam, Syful. "Coconut and mango waste could help power Asia," SciDev.Net, 22 March 2012.