DOST License First Private Sector CME Producer
San Pabloc City-based Rasza Agro Produce Corporation (RAPC), a manufacturer of coconut oil products in Laguna, has become the Department of Science and Technology’s first private sector technology licensee to commercially produce coco-methyl ester (CME), a diesel fuel additive from coconut. The non-exclusive licensing agreement was recently entered with the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI).
The licensing agreement allows RAPC to produce CME for five years starting November last year. It was signed by Dr. Nuna Almanzor, ITDI director and Romulo M. Awayan, RAPC president. Under the agreement, ITDI provides the technical assistance required for the establishment and operation of a CME plant in Laguna, while RAPC will provide the necessary investment for the land, building, equipment, and working capital for the operation of a CME facility. It will also handle the marketing of the products.
The CME biofuel produced by the technology developed by ITDI has zero sulfur content which reduces hydrocarbon, soot and particulate matters when used in engines. DOST says that it has lesser greenhouse gas emission and is biodegradable. It also has superior lubricity and detergency properties, safe on storage, and is non-toxic. It operates on conventional engines and can be used alone or blended with diesel.
The Biofuels Act which requires the use of one percent CME blend in diesel run vehicles, has identified the DOST through its Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development to be responsible for further research and development (R&D) on the use of biofuels.
It may be recalled that PCIERD had been aggressively pursuing the development of CME technology until the first CME plant in Romblon became operational in May 2005. DOST said that the plant is now producing CME ; called Romtron which has passed – the Philippine national standards and tested at the Tablas diesel power plant, also in Rombloti.
RAPC has a coco milling plant with capacity similar to that of Romtron’s CME plant. To ensure that the plant will produce the expected quality of CME, Dr. Almanzor said that a team : of experts from ITDI will continuously assist and monitor the production of ; CME and will also provide training to ; the plant personnel.
Dr. Almanzor also said that the agreement hopefully would encourage other manufacturers from the private sectors, to invest in CME technology, adding ; that they already had preliminary discussions with a private fuel firm for a’ possible collaboration on CME production.