Coconut Oil Biodiesel


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Coconut Oil Biodiesel

  1. 1. Coconut oil biodiesel Vanuatu Image by Bruce Scott Maree
  2. 2. Overview <ul><ul><li>When and how it began </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How it works </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How it evolved or emerged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What benefits it provides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How it may develop in the future </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. How and when it began <ul><ul><li>coconut oil was first used in the Pacific during WWII when a fuel shortage gripped the Philippines, forcing residents to look for alternatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>concept of mixing coconut oil and diesel restarted at least a decade ago as the price of oil began to skyrocket. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vanuatu spends about 20% of its annual budget on imported petroleum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mr Rudolf Diesel invented the combustion engine to run on peanut oil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vanuatu (pop'n about 218,000) spends about 20% of its annual budget on imported petroleum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 litre of diesel in Port Vila (Vanuatu's capital) costs about $AU1.70, and the avg annual income is only $AU3000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>coconuts grown all over the Pacific islands. </li></ul></ul>Vanuatu
  4. 4. How it works <ul><ul><li>Make copra by removing the shell, breaking up the white flesh and drying. Alternatively the flesh may be sun-dried in the shell. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Take the dried white flesh of coconut, which is called copra and feed it into a primary crusher. The now smaller pieces are then fed into a secondary crusher where the oil is expelled through holes in the crusher. A filter takes out solids and the expressed oil is put into a holding tank where sediments settle. After two weeks in the settling tank it can then be used in cars and other vehicles including ships, or to fuel power generators. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>you need to crush about 9 coconuts to recover 1 litre of oil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>coconut oil starts to solidify in temperatures less than 24.4 degrees Celsius. Viscosity can be boosted by blending in diesel in colder areas. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>carefully filtered coconut oil with excess moisture removed works perfectly in many diesel engines. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. How it works Removing coconut meat from shell  Loading copra into crusher Primary crusher: turns it into smaller pieces Loading into secondary crusher Press filter to remove solids Coconut oil coming out of crusher Settling tanks Rental truck fleet running on coconuts Taste test. &quot;Yep. Tastes like coconut&quot;
  6. 6. How it has evolved <ul><ul><li>Car hire company initially used 60:40 coconut oil to diesel but found diesel had too much moisture content. They now use 80:20 mix.  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Port Vila's elec co. UNELCO started experimenting with coconut/diesel fuel mix in June 2005 (using 5% coconut oil) in their 4 MW generator. They were at 15% by September 2007 and are hoping to run on B100 (100%) soon. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiments have found you can use 10-90% blends in most diesel engines, with most tolerance with a 50-50 blend. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Currently on Pacific Islands a handful of businesses run all their vehicles on B100 - forklifts, crane trucks, Mazda and Toyota Hilux utes, JAC trucks, boats, ships - as well as in heavy machinery and generators. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UNELCO is now buying copra at a fixed price (outside of the world commodity market) to encourage coconut farming on Pacific Islands. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What benefits it provides <ul><ul><li>provides better torque but top end speed reduced </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>burns slower than diesel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>safe on skin, edible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fuel smells nice (like coconut) and is (potentially) sustainable, carbon neutral </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>inexpensive, local fuel source (efficiencies) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>reduces islands dependency on foreign oil, price fluctuations and shortages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>local job creation - farmers, copra 'miners', oil producers, oil sellers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>80c a litre compared to up to $AU 2.17 for diesel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>revitalise Vanuatu's copra industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>reverse trend of people leaving islands to try to find low-paying work in Port Vila and high unemployment rates </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. How it might develop in the future <ul><ul><li>important transport fuel for travelling around and between islands, as well as electricity generation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>could replace up to 50% of the diesel imported by Vanuatu </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>perhaps export market? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>potential for coconut oil biofuel production in other tropical areas with capacity to grow coconuts (northern Australia)   </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Limitations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>need to ensure biodiesel does not compete with food </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>need to ensure sustainable production of coconuts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>need to ensure workers are not exploited </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>need to ensure the carbon balance sheet remains in the black </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>coconut oil solidifies around 24.4 degrees Celsius so needs to be mixed with other diesel in cooler areas </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. References and further reading <ul><ul><li>Pacific Power - Landline, 2/8/2009, Kerri Ritchie [ transcript ] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Islanders look to coconuts as oil prices rise, 19/1/2005 [ link ] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In defence of the humble coconut, 29/1/2008, Sarina Locke [ link ] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coconut oil powering an alternative in the Pacific, 17/9/2007 [ link ] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coconut oil gives Vanuatu more energy, 8/12/2005 [ link ] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coconut oil - Wikipedia, accessed 11/8/2009 [ link ] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Josh Tickell's Biofuel presentation, accessed 11/8/2009 on [ link ] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A combustable product from coconut oil, Luis Matias (thesis) [ link ] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coconut oil central, biodiesel [ link ] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oil yields and characteristics [ link ] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Coconut Odyssey, free e-book by Mike Foale [ link ] </li></ul></ul>