JAKARTA – Palm oil is not only potential for the production of biodiesel, as it can be also used as the raw material to produce other kinds of biofuels, such as bioethanol which can be blended with gasoline and green diesel. The development of palm oil into various kinds of biofuels can be implemented through the second generation technology of biofuel to produce Cellulosic Ethanol.
Tenny Kristiana, a researcher of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), who has been conducting the biodiesel in Indonesia since 2016, said that there has been no production and consumption of bioethanol in Indonesia, although the government has encouraged the use of bioethanol with a mixing target of 2.0 percent (E2) in several cities of Indonesia.
But the consumption of gasoline in Indonesia during the period of 2010 – 2019 has been continually rising. In 2015, the consumption of gasoline exceeded the consumption of diesel fuel with an annual growth of 48 percent. To fulfill the demand for gasoline, Indonesia is predicted to continually increase its imports of oil fuels (BBM). ICCT reported that based on its research, the demand and import of BBM will continue to rise in the future.
“Actually, Indonesia has an abundant availability of raw material to produce the Cellulosic Ethanol which can be mixed with gasoline. If it is realized, it can reduce the import of gasoline,” Tenny was quoted by InfoSAWIT as saying.
According to Tenny, the second generation biofuel is produced by utilizing the more advanced technology compared to the production process of the conventional ethanol, which uses cellulosic biomass, such as agricultural and plantations residues, including those of palm oil.
With the large areas of oil palm plantations in Indonesia, the cellulosic ethanol industries can use the abundant residue of the palm oil industries in Indonesia. Tenny said that ICCT had evaluated the residue of palm oil from the palm oil mills and the residue in the oil palm plantations and their usage in Indonesia. (*)