PH Coconut Authority now testing 5% biodiesel for jeepneys

For its environmental and economic benefits
Jul 30, 2013

\"TopGear.com.ph

Effective today, June 30, the Philippine Coconut Authority will conduct on-road tests on the viability of using 5% biodiesel blend of fuel for public transport vehicles.

With the approval of the National Biofuels Board to increase the mandated biodisel blend from 2% to 5%, the PCA, with the assistance of the Department of Energy, will make use of seven jeepneys that belong to transport groups and are in good running condition \"with a relatively new set of tires and with good braking performance.\" To make sure, the test jeepneys will undergo a thorough inspection at the North Motor Vehicle Inspection Center of the Land Transportation Office \"for assessment of roadworthiness and compliance to emission standards.\"

The on-road tests will last for 25 days. For the first five days, the test jeepneys will run on the existing 2% biodiesel blend. On the succeeding 20 days, the jeepneys will be fueled with the 5% biodiesel blend. After the 25-day on-road testing, the jeepneys will be tested for their fuel economy and power efficiency. Opacity tests will also be conducted on the jeepneys to compare the emission performance of the 2% and 5% biodiesel fuel blends.

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According to PCA administrator Euclides Forbes, the mandated use of biofuels would strengthen the domestic market for coconut, creating a P19.6-billion income since a 5% biodiesel blend means greater demand for coconut oil. In addition, the country would also save as much as P15.5 billion on fuel displacement.

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More than just the economic benefits, however, Forbes also pointed out the environmental benefits of the 5% biodiesel blend. Besides a 50% reduction in smoke emissions, the visible cloud of black smoke from the exhaust, which consists of carbon and sulfur particulates, is reduced by as much as 80%.

Coconut-derived biodiesel also reportedly has a neutral carbon footprint. Once planted, coconut trees absorb carbon dioxide during its growing stage. Every liter of fossil diesel displaced by 5% biodiesel represents a carbon-dioxide reduction of 3.5kg/L of fuel used.

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