Jamaican B5 biodiesel from castor oil enters vehicle test phase

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A Jamaican biodiesel research programme is now in the vehicular trials phase, according to a press release from the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ).

PCJ has been working on the research with Jamaica’s Ministry of Agriculture, Bodles Agricultural Research Station and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute. It aims to develop a B5 biodiesel blend from a castor oil feedstock.

“Through our research, we found that the castor plant is feasible for the development of biodiesel and we have developed a B5 blend which is now being used in vehicular trials,” said Winston Watson, while delivering the opening remarks at the Jamaica Alternative Energy Expo.

“While we cannot divulge too much information about the results at this point in time, we are refining the formula based on feedback from the trials which have been ongoing since December 2016. We are optimistic that once this phase of the research is completed our B5 blend of biofuels will be an affordable option for driving energy efficiency in the transportation sector,” Mr. Watson added.

It is anticipated that by incorporating the B5 blend, it will be possible for Jamaica to displace around 97,000 barrels of imported oil, amounting to savings of approximately JMD$540 million (€3.6 million) a year on energy bills. The local agriculture sector is also expected to get a significant boost, as a new market for crops opens up for farmers.

The University of Technology, Jamaica will now continue to move forward with research on biofuels and other projects as part of an agreement signed with PCJ earlier this year to promote and develop renewable energy.

 

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