ITS readies use of B20 fuel

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Dr. Eng M Badrus Zaman ST MT (second from left): Biodiesel emissions lower than pure diesel. (photo: IO/ITS)

IO, Surabaya – Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS) Sura­baya Ship Systems Engineering De­partment has turned its focus to the preparation of engine technology for the maritime industry. One way it is doing this is by researching the use of vegetable oil as a biodiesel (B20) fuel source.

B20 is fuel made from renewable resources and the research being done by the engineering department is in line with a government program mandating B20 for industrial appli­cations.

Head of the Department Dr. Eng M. Badrus Zaman, ST MT, stated that since 2000 the Department had been researching various vegetable oils such as crude palm oil (CPO), cook­ing oil, hazelnut oil and used cooking oil as a base for making biodiesel. The biodiesel was then tested in vehicles with diesel engines.

“On the laboratory scale there have already been tests with land use engines at 1,500 to 2,500 rpm with various fuels, starting from B10, B20, B50 to B100 or pure biodiesel,” said Badrus.

The results, continued Badrus, revealed that biodiesel could be used well in all these quantities. However, it is important to understand that engine components with rubber el­ements and filters tended to experi­ence more degradation. As a result, there needs to be more research, es­pecially surrounding the impacts pro­duced, including a holistic study from the economic aspect of B20.

On October 24 in Jakarta, the De­partment held a focus group discus­sion entitled “Readiness to use B20 Fuel in the Maritime Industry”. The aim of the discussion, according to Badrus, was to obtain input and to share information surrounding the readiness and alternatives that could be implemented in order to use B20 fuel in the maritime industry.

“As a result, the discussion also involved participants from the mar­itime industry, policymakers, Per­tamina, and representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources,” he stated.

B20 has a number of advantages compared to diesel fossil fuel. From data released by Pertamina, B20 has a higher oxygen and cetane content, important components in the burning process.

The oxygen content in biodiesel results in a cleaner burning process than pure diesel. “From our study of the burning process and the emis­sions measured, the use of biodiesel has approximately the same charac­teristics as pure diesel fuel; however, the emissions created are lower,” he explained. (ITS)