Home Economy Biodiesel manufacturer sees higher coconut content improving mileage

Biodiesel manufacturer sees higher coconut content improving mileage

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INCREASING the coconut content of the biodiesel blend will have a minimal impact on price but may also improve vehicle mileage, producing net savings, a coco biodiesel producer said.

“More significant will the mileage improvement expected with B3. Because mileage can improve by 5-15% the net savings can be rather significant in peso terms,” Jun Lao, president of Chemrez Technologies, Inc., told BusinessWorld in a Viber message. B3 refers to biofuel with 3% coconut content.

On its website, Chemrez — a subsidiary of publicly listed D&L Industries, Inc. — operates the country’s first continuous-process biodiesel plant.

In a draft circular, the Department of Energy is proposing to implement an increase in the coconut methyl ester (CME) blend to 3% (B3) starting July 1, from the current B2.

It also proposed to raise the biodiesel blend to 4%, effective July 1, 2025, and to 5% on July 1, 2026.

The Biofuels Act of 2006 requires that all liquid fuels contain domestically sourced biofuel components.

“If the price of CME is lower than diesel, the blend will make the pump price lower. Depending on the prevailing prices prior to the effectivity of B3, it can also go the other way.  Either way the price difference of B2 and B3 will be minimal,” Mr. Lao said.

A combustion engine operating at a given efficiency and fuel quality can produce incomplete combustion, he said, with inefficient engines producing black smoke from the exhaust system.

“You can improve combustion by overhauling the engine and using better quality fuel. CME does the latter,” Mr. Lao said.

“CME improves the fuel quality, so it burns more completely. There is more power and less black smoke. That means the car engine will perform better by delivering better mileage,” he added.

He said a car performing at 10 kilometers per liter (kms/liter) will soon achieve 11 kms/liter when B3 takes effect, effectively bringing down the cost of fuel by 10%, Mr. Lao said.

“So I expect the cost of transport to drop with B3 implementation. Along with that is the cleaner emission from cars. Then a massive reduction in CO2 (carbon dioxide) from land transport,” he said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera

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