Coconut biofuel

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search

In Solomon Islands you can find coconut everywhere. Especially in the rural communities and villages. Most of the plantations are owned by individuals and small holders. We have few large plantations owned by companies.Coconut is a very useful tree. We can use all part of it: trunk and leaves to build houses, fruit to drink and eat and also we can use the fruit to make coconut oil and use it as a diesel fuel (biodiesel).

Growing coconut easily is an advantage for Solomon Islands since it does not need much care and most of the coconuts were planted along coastal areas. Coconut oil is used in oil lamps, cooking, manufacturing, treatment for diseases. And research activities on the use of vegetable oil as fuel substitute have already been done as early as the 1970s using coconut oil in Philippines.

Coconut water (also called coconut juice) is the liquid found in the center of the coconut. It is not called coconut milk, which is something different. Coconut water is very healthy. It is naturally filtered and sterile. It contains many of the beneficial nutrients of coconut oil, such as lauric acid. It gives a natural energy boost, and is one of the best energy/sports drinks you can get. Coconut water is one of the highest sources of electrolytes known to man, and can be used to prevent dehydration.

Coconut milk is made by soaking the grated coconut meat in hot water or scalded milk, and then straining it. Coconut milk is classified as thick, thin, or coconut cream. Thick coconut milk is the result of the first soaking and squeezing. If this milk is refrigerated it separates, and the top layer is the cream. Thin coconut milk is what is produced when the coconut meat is soaked a second time and then strained and squeezed.

Biofuel (if cultivated, then also called agrofuel or agrifuel) can be broadly defined as solid, liquid, or gas fuel consisting of, or derived from recently dead biological material, most commonly plants. This distinguishes it from fossil fuel, which is derived from long dead biological material.

Biofuel can be theoretically produced from any (biological) carbon source. The most common by far is photosynthetic plants that capture solar energy. Many different plants and plant-derived materials are used for biofuel manufacture.


The process to turn coconuts into biodiesel starts with the meat, or copra, of the coconuts. The meat is grated, dried and then pressed to extract the coconut oil. There different methods of extracting oil from copra and fresh scraped coconut fresh. In Solomon Islands small scale method use the direct method expeller (DME) and mini copra mill facilities. Usually coconut oil from DME method is of higher quality and those from mini copra mill facilities require filtering. The oil is then mixed with two chemicals, methanol and sodium hydroxide, in the reactor for two hours to transition the oil into clean-burning fuel. The byproduct of the process, glycerol, can be made into soap or compost and sold along with the rest of the coconut husk and meat.

The lower iodine value of coconut oil compared to other vegetable oils works favourably for its lower carbon deposits, however not many successful experiences have been found .Especially deposits on the pistons, valves, combustion chambers and injectors can cause severe loss of output power, engine lubricant deterioration or even catastrophic failure to engines.


To make coconut oil

1. Select only fresh and mature quality coconuts.

2. Split coconuts and collect coconut water.

3. Grate coconuts and collect coconut meat.

4. Bag the coconut meat. Use white nylon mesh bag.

5. Place You can hand press using gloves. Collect coconut milk.

6. Soak the pressed bag in coconut water and press for a second time. more coconut milk.

7. Allow the coconut milk to settle undisturbed in a cabinet at 32degC for 10-17 hours.Coconut oil will naturally separate from water and proteins.

8. Carefully collect and filter the oil and avoid mixing with the bottom water layer. The oil is colorless.

After obtaining coconut oil we can use it right away if there’s any diesel engine.


Comparison with other fuel:

Bio - fuel
Petrol - fuel
Fuel Cost
Can be used in most newer diesel engines
Can be used in more vehicles

The comparison above shows us that Bio - fuel is much better. Our most important problem is the environmental pollution. Bio– fuel can solve this problem but not the conventional fuel. Even the price is much cheaper. Although petrol – fuel can be used in more vehicles, it’s not a problem. In the future we might have more vehicles that use bio – diesel than right now.

Bio–diesel is very safe, certainly much safer than the petroleum alternative. Biodiesel is less toxic than table salt and as biodegradable as sugar. It has a much higher flash point temperature (150° C) than fossil diesel (58° C) and therefore is much safer to store.

Apart from being the only carbon neutral fuel available with significant environmental benefits, one should also consider some of the other reasons to use it:

• Smoother, quieter running and greater lubricity, enhances your engine longevity.

• It is better for the local and national economy to use a home grown fuel, rather than import fuel.

• It is better for national security to be less dependant on foreign oil. No wars have been fought over biodiesel.

• Can be cheaper than petro diesel.

• The best “transition” fuel, while we wait for other future sustainable types of transport technologies.

Comparison with other bio–diesel:

Coco-diesel (coconut methyl ester or CME). CME, compared with other forms of biodiesel, offers excellent lubricity, solvency and detergency. Studies show that the addition of biodiesel gives better combustion, less pollution and more engine power resulting in engines running smoothly with longer maintenance intervals.

Because of its outstanding characteristics, coco-biodiesel is considered first rate and highly adaptable. It lowers emission of nitrous oxide and sulfur oxide, the main contributors to smog. It also significantly reduces serious air pollutants such as black smoke and air toxics that cause lung cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis, pneumonia, bronchitis, heart attack and stroke. Biodiesel means less emission and cleaner air.

Compared to most bio-diesels, coco-diesel is a premium product. Even with as little as a one-percent blend with conventional diesel, coco-diesel fuel restores fuel system and engine efficiency: Old engines with heavy carbon soot deposits and with clogged fuel nozzles are also cleansed.


Bio-diesel (coco - diesel) is a future fuel. It’s non-toxic, biodegradable. Biodiesel recycles carbon dioxide. Biodiesel can be used in its pure form but many require certain engine modifications to avoid maintenance and performance problems.It also replaces the exhaust odor of petroleum diesel with a more pleasant smell of popcorn or French fries.

Using pure coconut oil in standard engines is very attractive through its low cost. However, it requires special technical supervision and may shorten engine life. As the coconut oil has up to 30 times higher viscosity than the regular diesel at the same temperature, most engine modifications include a fuel heater. As heat is exchanged between the engine coolant and the fuel, the oil viscosity approximates that of diesel. As the coconut oil solidifies below temperatures of 25 oC, often an electrical heater is incorporated in the fuel tank.