D100 Become New Hope for National Energy Sector
Nowadays fuel oil is one of the important aspects for human life. Along with the increase in economic growth, population growth, increasingly active transportation and the number of mechanization in various fields that require fuel in its operation, it is not surprising that the need for fuel consumption (BBM) will always increase. One of them is diesel, which is fuel that is currently generally used for industry and public transport vehicles. It was noted that diesel consumption in the first semester of 2019 reached 7.56 million kiloliters or 52% exceeding the specified quota.
The availability of fossil energy which has been the raw material for fuel oil cannot always fulfill the needs that always increasing. Fossil fuels are also non-renewable natural resources, so that if they are used continuously, the supply will also be depleting and not enough to fulfill the increasing needs.
Pertamina has predicted that Pertamina’s oil reserves can only able to last nine more years, if there is no new exploration. This means that to fulfill the needs of fuel, Indonesia will be increasingly dependent on imports, causing a greater foreign exchange import burden. This condition will have negative implications for Indonesia’s trade balance which is increasingly unhealthy and will further spread others macroeconomic problems.
In addition to causing foreign exchange to be drained, Indonesia’s high dependence on diesel or other fossil fuels is an increase in the contribution of CO2 emissions as the main GHG emitter. Even though Indonesia is one of the countries that ratified the Paris Agreement and National Determined Contribution (NDC) in order to reduce carbon emissions.
Based on this, the development of renewable energy sources based on local resources that are environmentally friendly is now very necessary as an effort to reduce dependence on fossil fuels while creating national energy security.
Palm oil can be considered as a incredible tree, because all parts of the plant can be utilized. The oil content in both CPO and CPKO contains carbon elements that resemble fossil oil. The fatty acids contained in palm oil have very similar characteristics to the composition of hydrocarbons in fossil oils. This means that the palm oil industry has great potential as an alternative fuel energy in the future.
At present, an alternative energy from palm oil that has been successfully developed is FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Esther). FAME has been blended with fossil diesel to produce biodiesel. Indonesiam government has the mandatory policy of biodiesel is the main factor that encourages the absorption of palm oil-based alternative energy, so that it can produce benefits for the economy such as saving foreign exchange imports to be able to become the locomotive of the Indonesian economy during a pandemic.
Given the succes story of the biodiesel mandatory policy, palm oil stakeholders consisting of the government, researcher and associations are developing another alternative energy from palm oil, namely Green diesel. Green diesel or palm oil is an alkane compound resulting from the processing of vegetable oil by hydrogenation which has properties similar to diesel fuel. In its processing, green diesel is known to be environmentally friendly because it does not produce waste and the emissions of combustion are much smaller than other diesel oil.
As the discovery of the Katalis Merah Putih, recently Pertamina together with the researchers from Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) succeeded in developing and producing pure green diesel (D100) based on palm oil at the Dumai refinery. The results of this diesel oil trial are considered quite satisfying and show advantages compared to fossil fuel or diesel such as high cetane number reaching 79, or higher than cetane number’s Pertamina Dex (53) or Dexlite (51) and far above the fossil diesel’s cetane number (48). Another advantage of this diesel is lower sulfur content, better oxidation stability and a clearer color.
Besides the developing palm oil, Pertamina is also conducting a fuel mix performance test consisting of 20 percent palm oil based diesel (D100), 50 percent Dexlite and 30 percent FAME. The performance test results state that the cetane number of the fuel mixture reached at least 60 or higher than the current diesel fuel. Vehicle emission test results also show the opacity or concentration of exhaust fumes dropped to 1.7 percent from 2.6 percent (when not mixed with D100). Vehicle performance testing using the type of MPV with diesel fuel in 2017 which distance of 200 km, also produced good quantitative values and vehicle users also still feel comfortable such as the absence of excessive noise when driving, engine pull is more powerful and exhaust fumes remain clean even at high RPMs.
With the results of the palm oil based diesel (D100) performance which is quite satisfying from a technical perspective, it provides optimism for Indonesia in the context of reducing diesel imports and realizing energy security that is low in emissions and environmentally friendly. However, further studies are needed in particular relating to the economic aspects that can be as the platform of the Government of Indonesia’s policy to produce renewable energy at competitive prices.
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