Philippines promoting biodiesel from coconut

Published: Monday 15 October 2007

The Philippine Coconut Authority is promoting biodiesel produced from coconut as an environment and engine-friendly renewable fuel for vehicles.

Coconut biodiesel is a methyl ester derived from coconut oil. It is produced by the etherification of coconut oil and alcohol in the presence of a base catalyst.

Due to its high solvency and lubricity, the oil is engine friendly and results in lesser wear and tear, says Lorneto Orellaneda, the worldwide coordinator for the authority's projects. The fuel also helps in good ignition, combustion and less engine overheating, he says. It does not contain sulphur, which means it reduces co2 and other toxic emissions.

Coconut oil as a diesel substitute is not new to the island soldiers used it during World War-II. The islanders are already using the fuel for generators.The authority believes due to its cheaper rate (the raw material is abundant in the island) the Philippines can promote it in the global market. A tonne of coconut oil costs about us $1,000. Back home, it will provide employment and livelihood opportunities to rural communities.

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