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Getting it Right: Analysis of Biodiesel Blends in Fiji

Cluster Sub-theme: Energy Security

Project Team Leader: Dr Atul Raturi

Team Members: Prof. William Aalbersberg, Dr A Singh, Vincent Lal, Pravin Singh (DO Energy)

Funding: FJD38, 000

Duration of Project: 2 years

Overview of Project:

Most countries are keen to substitute expensive fossil fuels with renewable alternatives. This can have environmental (less greenhouse gas emissions) and socioeconomic benefits (more jobs, lower import costs, perhaps lower diesel prices).

In Fiji Cabinet has mandated introduction of biodiesel with up to 5% component of plant-derived oil combined with diesel. At the same time there are reports though that vehicles trialing such blends incur higher engine wear and mechanic costs. There are a number of “biodiesel” products:

• esterified waste cooking oil
• esterified coconut oil
• coconut oil and emulsifier catalyst

These are all mixed with diesel up to 5%. Oil sources from other plants are also being explored. It is very important then to evaluate the quality and performance of these biodiesel blends before they are introduced throughout Fiji (and the region). Currently a fleet of government vehicles are using these blends plus some environmentally-conscious consumers.

The project seeks to check the performance of biodiesel products currently in use in Fiji, especially in the automotive industry. Performance will include:

• meeting international quality standards
• engine performance
• waste emissions


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