By M.V. Asuncion

Jatropha Luzon forum …. Gaganapin dito sa ating lunsod ang Luzon forum hinggil sa jatropha. Nakatakda itong ganapin sa ika-21 ng Pebrero sa Legend Hotel. Inaasahang darating dito sa lunsod ang mga eksperto sa programang ito at ng iba pang alternative fuels. Kabilang na si Dr. Renato Velasco ang Chairman ng PNOC-Alternative Fuel Center. Naimbitahan ding dumalo ang mga Kalihim ng Enerhiya at Agrikultura.

Alamin natin ang ilang mahahalagang impormasyon tungkol sa Jatropha. May pagka-mahaba ang impormasyon kaya ito ay ating ise-“serialize”. Bukod dito, paumanhin kung ito ay nasa wikang Ingles. Simula natin sa usaping ALTERNATIVE FUEL kung saan kabahagi lamang dito ang jatropha.

What is an Alternative Fuel? (PART I)

Alternative fuels are fuels that are not composed substantially of petroleum and thus, are alternatives to petroleum. As a substitute to this “traditional” fuel, it is expected to yield significant energy security and environmental benefits to its consumers.

Methanol, denatured ethanol, and other alcohols blended with gasoline, diesel or other fuels are alternative fuels. Those that act as substitutes to petroleum, such as natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, hydrogen, and coal-derived liquid fuels are also considered as alternative fuels, as are fuels derived from biological materials and electricity.

What is a Biofuel?

Biofuel refers to fuels made from biomass and primarily used for motive, thermal and power generation, with quality specifications in accordance with the Philippine National Standards (PNS).

What is the Alternative Fuels Program?

The Alternative Fuels Program is one of the five (5) key components of the Arroyo Administration’s Energy Independence Agenda, which outlines the roadmap that will lead to the country’s attainment of 60% energy self-sufficiency by 2010.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is implementing a long-term Alternative Fuels Program to (1) reduce our dependence on imported oil and (2) provide cheaper and more environment-friendly alternatives to fossil fuels. Through the said program, the DOE intends to tap the country’s domestic produce as viable sources of energy. The goal is to develop indigenous and renewable energy fuels for long term energy security, which will be a pillar for our country’s sustainable growth.

What is included in the program?

The Alternative Fuels Program has four (4) major subprograms, namely Biodiesel Program, Bioethanol Program, Natural Gas Vehicle Program for Public Transport (NGVPPT), and Autogas Program. Other technologies advocated under the program are hybrid, fuel cell, hydrogen and electric vehicles.

Both Houses of Congress ratified the Biofuels Act of 2006 last November 29, 2006, which mandates a minimum 1% biodiesel blend and 5% bioethanol blend by volume in all diesel and gasoline fuels, respectively, being distributed and sold in the country. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the Bill into law on January 12, 2007.

(Next week: Jatropha Methyl Ester)

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