DOE to adjust biofuel standards

by Myrna Velasco, February 17, 2015
from Manila Bulletin

The Department of Energy (DOE) will be re-calibrating the standards and test protocols on the chemical contents of biodiesel products, as part of the mandate of the Biofuels Act.

In particular, the energy department has noted that its technical committee on petroleum products and additives through its technical working group “reviewed and revised the standard test method” as to the determination of ester and lauric acid content in fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) by gas chromatography.

In simpler terms, this would have implication on the standards of biofuels that shall be set in the market for motorists’ use as shall then be prescribed under the Philippine National Standards.

The DOE stressed “this standard test method is an update/review of PNS/DOE TM 01:2009 with revision made on the procedure to make the same applicable to any Gas Chromatography (GC) brands in general.”

The department added that “the modified test method has been tested to verify blend higher than 2.0-percent” by volume.

It must be noted that the current biodiesel blend is still at 2.0-percent, but the DOE has been advancing steps to have this increased to 5.0-percent blend by volume.

The implementation should have been this year, but policy formulations are still being reinforced and that test protocols and processes are also undergoing review.

For the determination of ester and lauric acid content in FAME, the energy department stipulated that American firm subsidiary Chevron Philippines has been tapped to help, primarily due to its technical expertise on this sphere.

“This standard addresses the technical requirements of CME for a more suitable test method, thereby, ensuring a proper and effective fuel quality standard,” the department said.

It further stressed that this standard “establishes the method reliability for the determination of ester and lauric content of biodiesel (CME) and provides wider coverage for biodiesel blends higher than 2.0-percent.”

The department similarly emphasized that “it made adjustment on the instrumental configuration for general gas chromatography application compared to a specific type of GC for the 2009 edition.”

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