The Philippine biodiesel industry aims to be a global provider of sustainable biodiesel. It advocates for greener fuel for a cleaner Earth.
By 2030, the industry hopes to:
Maximize the contributions of indigenous biofuels in the country’s energy mix towards self-sufficiency and better environmental conditions;
Establish the Philippines as a leader in sustainable biofuels feedstock development, technology generation, and market development;
Harmonize research, development, demonstration, and commercialization efforts;
Coordinate efforts towards the creation of new applications and markets for biofuels;
Update national incentives and regulatory requirements to encourage production and use of biofuels; and
Improve the quality of life of coco farmers and other workers in related and allied areas of work.
Biodiesel from coconut is the natural alternative to imported diesel in the Philippines. Coconut oil is transesterified into coco methyl ester (CME) and is referred to as cocobiodiesel when blended with fossil diesel.
Cocobiodiesel has a unique advantage over other forms of biodiesel because of its unique chemical properties, thereby making it more environment-friendly and economical. It may cost more than fossil diesel and other biodiesels in P/liter, but its unique features can do much more for engine performance. Its greatest advantage is in terms of cost reduction in P/km.
Cocobiodiesel serves as a high value/ high volume secondary product of the coconut industry which protects coco farmers from falling copra prices in the world market.
Following the enactment of the Biofuels Act of 2006, the Philippines is now working to ‘clear the way’ to increase the biodiesel blend from 2% (B2)to 5% (B5) in 2015. This increase is likely to boost the demand for biodiesel in the country.
The Biofuels Act of 2006 aims to reduce the country’s dependence on imported fuels with due regard to the protection of public health, the environment, and the natural ecosystems consistent with the country’s sustainable economic growth.
It mandates the use of biofuels as a measure to develop and utilize indigenous renewable and sustainable-sources clean energy sources to reduce dependence on imported oil; mitigate toxic and greenhouse gas (GSG) emissions; increase rural employment and income; and ensure the availability of alternative and renewable clean energy without any detriment to the natural ecosystem, biodiversity and food reserves of the country.
The law also provides for additional incentives to encourage investments in the production, distribution and use of locally-produced biofuels at and above the minimum mandated blends.
The Department of Energy, in consultation with the National Biofuels Board, appropriate government agencies, and other stakeholders has issued, adopted, and promulgated the law’s implementing rules and regulations.
The sectoral working group for biodiesel has been working towards the promulgation of the Philippine National Standard (PNS) for B5 biodiesel, but is currently on hold. Oil companies have raised issues regarding the use of coco methyl ester (CME), including its corrosive effects on engines, and its implications on their storage, handling and distribution systems and facilities. An impact assessment study (on the increase from B2 to B5) is ongoing.
A related study to determine the real cause of contamination and microbial growth on CME-blended diesel fuel is ongoing. The study includes the impact of the increase of the increase from B2 to B5 on sectoral and national outputs, income, food and non-food consumption, international trade and prices.
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