Indonesia conducted road testing for two kinds of biodiesel containing 40% palm oil on Wednesday, seeking to determine if they are practical for general use by the end of the year, according to the energy ministry.

The government presently requires that every fuel sold in the nation include 30% palm oil, the highest mandatory mix in the world.

The world’s largest palm oil producer has long-term ambitions to increase vegetable oil content in gasoline for everything from vehicles to aircraft in order to reduce fuel imports. It made its maiden test flight last year, using jet fuel blended with palm oil. Officials have recently pushed for a bigger share to absorb surplus palm oil supply. 

The fuels to be tested over the next several months are B40, which is diesel combined with 40% fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), and B30D10, which is diesel mixed with 30% FAME and 10% green diesel generated from refined, bleached, and deodorized palm oil (RBDPO).

According to Dadan Kusdiana, the ministry’s head of renewable energy, they will be tested on 12 of the most popular passenger car types and commercial vehicles for 50,000 km (31,000 miles) and 40,000 km, respectively.

“We have improved fuel specifications so that they’re better than B30,” he added, referring to biodiesel that contains 30% palm oil.

Users have complained that increasing FAME concentrations in biodiesel needs particular handling and equipment since the fuel has a solvent effect that may erode engine seals and gasket materials, and it can solidify at freezing temperatures.

Officials claimed that during and after the trial run, each car would be thoroughly inspected to assess the influence of the fuels on everything from engine power, torque, fuel consumption, and pollution levels.

Authorities had originally said that B35 biodiesel will be available to the general public this month, but this has now been postponed indefinitely. Dadan said that a second B35 laboratory test would be performed shortly.

The government anticipates that at least 10.15 million kilolitres of biodiesel will be used in 2022, with B40 increasing overall biodiesel usage by up to 3.5 million kilolitres each year.

Indonesia’s current biodiesel production capacity is 18 million kilolitres and 120,000 metric tonnes of green fuel.

Source: Reuters


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