The University of Mauritius explores possibility of using coconut oil as bio fuel

9 years, 10 months ago - August 02, 2011
The project aims to reduce the dependence on diesel

The University of Mauritius (UoM) and the Mauritius Standards Bureau (MSB) conducted a feasibility study on the use of coconut and waste vegetable oil as an alternative to diesel for power generation.

The project, which is an initiative of the Mauritius Research Council (MRC), in collaboration with the Outer Islands Development Corporation (IDOC), aims to reduce the dependence on diesel. The team found that coconut oil can be used as an alternative to fuel for generating electricity.

The feasibility project was launched in September 2010 and ended in December 2010. It included modifying a 60 kilovolt-amperes (kVA) generator of the Central Water Authority (CWA), located in the Ebène pumping station, to make it run on coconut oil, vegetable oil and diesel.

The performance of the generator operating with two types of oil and diesel was evaluated by using several parametres.

An evaluation of the efficiency of coconut and vegetable oil compared to diesel for power generation was also established.

The preliminary results demonstrate that coconut oil is a better fuel than diesel in terms of emissions and opacity. They also discovered that waste vegetable oil is not suitable for power generation because of its high opacity and fatty acid content.

A workshop to publicise the results to stakeholders to encourage the implementation of the proposed alternatives will be held at the MRC on August 4.

The project is a major step in efforts being undertaken to reduce dependence on diesel and steer the island towards the vision of Maurice Ile Durable.

The project is supported by CWA, UOM, MSB, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Ministry of Agro-Industry.

It should be noted that this feasibility study follows the project initiated by the MRC and the IDOC using coconut oil and waste vegetable oil as an alternative fuel to diesel in the transport sector.

 

Text by the Independent

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