Coconut Oil May Be the Answer for the Philippines’ Biofuel Needs

International Fuel Technology (IFT) and CIIF Oil Mills Group of the Philippines plan to expand the use of coconut oil in biofuels blended with diesel fuel by developing a program for research and development.

The CIIF Oil Mills Group accounts for more than 40% of about 1.3 million metric tons of coconut oil produced annually in the Philippines, said to be the world’s largest coconut exporting country and number-two grower after Indonesia. International Fuel Technology’s DiesoLIFT has demonstrated average fuel economy improvements of 7%, the release states, as well as reduced emissions and improved performance in laboratory tests and field trials in diesel-fueled rail, over-the-road and stationary power generation applications in the U.S., Asia, South Africa and Europe. The administration of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has set an Energy Independence Agenda aimed at attaining 60% energy self-sufficiency by year 2010, and has mandated the use of 1% coconut-biodiesel in all government diesel-fueled vehicles. Biofuels currently account for an insignificant percentage of the more than 7 billion liters of diesel fuel ($5 billion market) consumed annually in the Philippines. “Building on the ability of IFT’s technology to enhance the combustion characteristics of all biofuel blends,” said Sergio Trindade, IFT’s chief of science and technology, “we look forward to working with CIIF to combine our science with the unique properties of coconut oil to bring expanded, less expensive, cleaner energy supply to the Philippines and other parts of Asia.”