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Biodiesel from locally-grown castor seeds could save country over $500m annually - PCJ

Published:Thursday | August 3, 2017 | 1:33 PM

The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) is projecting that Jamaica could save over half a billion dollars with the introduction of a motor fuel blend using local castor seeds.

PCJ Group General Manager, Winston Watson, says the unique B5 biodiesel blend being developed from locally grown castor seeds has the potential to replace about 97,000 barrels of imported oil annually.

Watson says the PCJ is fairly certain that its biodiesel blend will be an affordable option for driving energy efficiency in the transportation sector.

Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning diesel replacement fuel made from natural, renewable, agricultural resources.

Unlike regular diesel, biodiesel does not emit sulphur, which makes it better for the environment.

Like petroleum, diesel can operate in combustion-ignition engines including cars, trucks, heavy equipment and boats.

It can also be used in oil-based home heating systems.

The PCJ has been conducting small-scale vehicular trials of the B5 formula since January this year where some 7,000 kilometres of road miles have been logged so far.

However, the fuel is being further refined by a team from the PCJ and the University of Technology (UTech).