Gov't to start testing use of veggie oil on vehicles

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 05 2013 04:29 PM | Updated as of Mar 06 2013 12:29 AM

MANILA, Philippines - A partnership between government and private sector will kick off a project that will test the viability of using esterified waste vegetable oil on diesel-run vehicles.

The Department of Energy, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, USAid, Jollibee, Seaoil and E-way54 have agreed to test four vehicles using diesel with 4% esterified waste vegetable oil within 6 months.

DENR and Seaoil will provide the vehicle and pumping station while Jollibee will supply the used oil coming from their various stores in Metro Manila.

Engineers involved in the project say in case its found out to be feasible, even used oil from households can be used as biodiesel blend for fossil diesel.

But Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla says before embarking on a national policy to encourage all households to save and collect their used oil, the study must first establish the viability and safety of the new source of biodiesel so that car owners will not be afraid to use it.

Petilla also refuses to discuss the impact on pricing until the study is finished.

Used vegetable oil may be less expensive than that of coco methyl esther or CME currently being used in retail diesel.

Jollibee vice president and corporate franchising head John Victor Tence says this is the fast food chain's way of giving back to the community. But Tence admits Jollibee alone cannot do the job if it goes into commercial operation.

Seaoil president and CEO Glenn Yu says for every 1% of pure diesel displaced by biodiesel, 70 million liters of diesel is saved. This could amount to P11-P12 billion a year if the country uses 4% biodiesel content.