Thursday, December 13, 2007

[PBN] PH: R&D into value adding of coconut oil through fractionation


CIIF Oil Mills, British partner in P30-M R&D project

By Amy R. Remo
Last updated 07:09am (Mla time) 12/13/2007

The Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) Oil Mills Group announced a
P30-million research and development project with a UK-based firm to
look into use of coconut oil as a source of higher-value products.

CIIF Oil Mills Groups president Danilo Coronacion said the project with
the International Fuel Technology of the UK would study a
"fractionation" process to maximize use of medium chain fatty acid
(MCFA) from coconut oil for industrial uses.

He said the project would also study the possibility of using coconut
oil not only for the recently commercialized coconut methyl ester or
biodiesel but also for bio-lubricants, other oleochemicals, and a type
of biodiesel that could be mixed with jatropha.

The study also aims to derive from coconut oil valuable chemical
properties for higher-value products, like bio-lubricants, to optimize
and lower the costs of local feedstock.

The Philippines' present use of coconut oil for biodiesel is based on
technologies for long chain fatty acid (LCFA), influenced particularly
by US or German technologies, which are designed for LCFA soybean oil,
rapeseed oil or palm oil.

The proposed technology for MCFA may lower costs and even maximize the
coconut oil's competitive advantage.

While exploring viable products from the MCFA technology, the research
will also work on the blending of coconut oil with jatropha oil.

Last January, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the Biofuels Law,
which aims to ease the country's dependence on imported,
pollution-generating energy sources.

The law makes mandatory the blending of ethanol and coco biodiesel in
petroleum products.

It also provides a package of incentives for investors in the biofuels
sector, including exemption from payment of specific and value-added
taxes and provision of financing for businesses engaged in production,
handling, and transport of biofuel and biofuel feedstock. Edited by

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