Cooking oil as car fuel, possible

RATHER than throwing away used cooking oil, why not be environmentally responsible and sell it to those who want to improve the quality of air we breathe.

How? By converting it into biodiesel.

Instead of disposing used oil or sell it as additive for hog food, which also has adverse effects on humans when eaten, restaurateur Ari Verzosa encouraged sidewalk vendors, ordinary households, restaurants, eateries, fast food centers and everyone who uses cooking oil to store the oil and sell it to groups or companies which convert it into fuel.

This endeavor not only helps cleanse the air, it also becomes an extra source of income for those who will sell used cooking oil.

Verzosa’s company, Biodiesel Philippines, Inc. has developed fuel from used cooking and vegetable oil which comes from restaurants he owns and manages.

The van he owns runs on pure biodiesel. His company also sells fuel to Kias and Wangal jeepney drivers.

Only about 50 jeepneys use the fuel produced by Ari. Around 4,000 units in the city use diesel.

Oil from his restaurants is not enough to meet the needs of the city. Verzosa said if the public cooperates and turns in used cooking oil, a larger volume of fuel could be produced.

He said other groups could develop their own fuel if they have raw materials and know the proper ratio of chemicals needed to convert raw cooking oil into biodiesel.

Formulas are also available on the Internet. He declined to reveal the ratio of ingredients his company has cooked up.

The company has hired the services of a private chemist and consulted the Department of Energy for the viability of the project. Verzosa said both the chemist and DoE have given their thumbs up to the endeavor.

The process of converting oil to biodiesel is called transesterification. Basic steps include heating the used oil, adding of methanol and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to form methoxide. The concoction will then be transferred into a settling tank and left to “process” for two days. The glycerine or residues will then be drained and the fuel filtered and could finally be used as fuel.

The glycerine could likewise be transformed into soap. “This is practically zero waste,” Verzosa said.

Biodiesel Philippines Inc. buys a can (17 liters) of used oil for P200.

Verzosa said they prefer oil, which has been used a maximum of three times. He said more fuel could be extracted from clear oil while the darker variety or oil that has been re-used several times generates only a small amount of fuel.

Already, the two largest fast food chains of Baguio, McDonalds and Jollibee agreed to sell oil to BPI.

Ari sells his biodiesel for P32 per liter. Petroleum is sold at P37.10 per liter or P5 cheaper than regular fuel.

Verzosa said using biodiesel helps cleanse the atmosphere for the smoke it produces is white smoke and does not cause pollution and it increases engine mileage for the oil helps lubricate the engine’s metal parts.

Those who wish to buy fuel or sell oil, Biodiesel Philippines, Inc. may be contacted Ari at 443-8484 and the office can be found at 252 Km. 4 Marcos Highway.