A biodegradable fuel, produced mostly from rapeseed, has reportedly been brought in to help fight the oil spill along France
's Atlantic coast
. France's pollution research center CEDRE last week gave permission for workers mopping up the spill to use a vegetable oil-based fuel called diester to help clean coastal areas still soiled from the wreck of the tanker Erika.
Testing on the product on the spill began today. If the product works as planned, its use will be expanded to other areas affected by the spill, a spokeswoman said. Diester, an environment-friendly fuel, was introduced in France in the 1990s to reduce air pollution. It can also serve as a solvent to remove viscous products like the oil that has been seeping from the hull of the Erika since it sank in heavy seas last December, the spokeswoman said.