The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) is road testing the B5 biofuel blend to determine its fuel economy and power efficiency. The new oil product contains 3 percent more coco methyl esther from its original 2% (B2) blend.
PCA Administrator Euclides Forbes said that increasing the biodiesel content from 2% (B2) to 5% (B5) will directly benefit our coconut farmers because (CME), which is a component of coconut oil, would be sourced locally.
“With the 3% increase in biodiesel blend, the country could save as much as P 10 billion. It would also boost farmers’ income, help in climate change mitigation, and improve the Philippine economy since currency would circulate within rather than exit the country,” said Forbes.
Forbes said that B5 means greater demand for coconut oil (CNO), hence the move would consequently generate P 19.6 billion income and save as much as P 15.5 billion in fuel displacement.
Increasing the CME blend from 2% to 5% would employ about 1,099 CME plant workers, 13,183 coconut oil milling workers, and 23,070 far workers. The coconut farmers will also be the beneficiaries of P4.8 million annual lien collection of the Social Amelioration and Welfare Program (SAWP).
“Switching to B5 targets to reduce the dependence on imported fuels and at the same time protect human health, the environment, and ecosystems in line with sustainable economic growth that would pave the way for increased income,” added Forbes.
B5 is being tested on seven public utility jeepneys (PUJs) belonging to transport groups selected by PCA and the Department of Energy (DOE).
The test jeepneys will be assessed at the North Motor Vehicle Inspection Center (NMVIC) of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for their road worthiness and compliance to emission standards.
The Energy Secretary sits as the chairman of the Biofuels Board and has the authority to recommend to the President the increase from 2% to 5% of the biodiesel blend.
In 1983, the DA-PCA spearheaded scientific studies on the use of coco biodiesel as fuel, in coordination with the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC-ERDC), National Power Corporation (NPC), and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
In May 2001, the Department of Agriculture and the PCA launched a Biodiesel Development Project that tests the viability of coconut biodiesel as engine fuel. Test results showed approximately 50% reduction on smoke emissions.
Forbes said the visible cloud of black smoke consisting of carbon and sulfur particulates is diminished by as much as 80% using the B5 blend. Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas emitted by vehicles, largely contributes to global warming.
“The DA-PCA continues to implement its massive planting and replanting programs to ensure the increased productivity and sustainable supply of biofuel feedstock,” said Forbes.