Written by the Web Team
Farmers can soon cut on fuel expenses as the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) tests the efficiency of its developed biofuel on machines.
The plan is an offshoot of a recent lecture by Dr. Rico O. Cruz, an expert on biofuel from Oregon, USA, who promoted Cruzesterification, a process of producing biodiesel from used vegetable oils.
“Producing biodiesel using Cruzesterification makes the production of biodiesel as “easy as making coffee, in which the catalyst is the coffee, alcohol as the sugar and oil as the hot water. Blend the three ingredients and you a have a coffee or a biodiesel in minutes,” Cruz said.
Cruz, who uses biodiesel in his own cars abroad, said the process he discovered from more than 20 years of research does not need heating ingredients and sophisticated equipment, unlike biodiesel sold at gasoline stations.
“Farmers can afford the elements needed for production. Potassium hydroxide only costs P80.00/kg; methanol, P80.00/L; and used oil, P400.00 per 17 kg gallon,” he said.
In producing 100 L of biodiesel, Cruz said 100 L of used oil is needed and requires 1.1 kg of potassium hydroxide and 20 L of methanol at a production cost of P38.00/L and production time of 18 hours.
“You see here the advantages of this technology. Fuel costs P45.00/L and its production takes years,” Cruz stressed.
Other than reduced cost, Cruz said biodiesel is also environment-friendly as it does not emit dark and poisonous fumes. In addition, farm waste such as rice hull can also be used to filter the biodiesel before loading it into the engine.
Meanwhile, Ruben B. Miranda, PhilRice deputy executive director for development, said the technology creates opportunities for farmers to increase their farm efficiency without increasing their expenses.