Plants – Possible Sources of Energy
There are many plants where we can derive energy not only as fuel but also as raw materials
for power generation such as oil, sap or turpentine. These could be processed into petroleum,
gasoline and related products. Some of these plants are:
1. Petroleum fruit — this is commonly called abkol, oil, dingo, sagaga and salkel. The plant
generally grows in Cebu, Bicol, Palawan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Viscaya and Benguet.
– The fruit can be used for medicine aside from fuel. 52 grams of concentrated oil can be
taken from a kilo of this fruit and another 16 grams of oil can be expelled when the residue is
– According to Phil. Pigment and Resin Corporation diagnosis, the fruit contains 12.35 of
leptine (one of the elements of gasoline) of oil.
– The plants can be propagated through seeds and twigs.
2. Layeng or Repetek – the name means sound when it is burning. The tree grows up to 40
meters tall with body circumference of 20-40 cm. It is the bark which contains oil and burn
easily when mature.
– This is only found here in Palawan but grows naturally in Borneo, Sumatra and Malay
3. Pine (Mindoro and Benguet Pine) – source of ingredients for the different fuel industries
– oleoresin for making petroleum
– benzene and phenanthrene as substitute for petrochemicals
– artificial oil for making lubricant
– this oil can withstand high machine temperature
– turpentine which can be used as motor fuel like the one used in “Saab-99” of Finland and
4. African Oil Palm – from West Africa brought by the Dutch to Asia and is now being
– can produce oil up to 4 tons for every hectare.
– the fruit waste like shell and husk can be used as firewood or as biomass.
– according to a Malaysian expert 60 tons of fruits can produce 90 barrels of oil daily.
5. Castor Bean or Tangan Tangan – also known as Tawa tawa, tangan-jawa, tangangan. It
came from India and Africa. It is grown in the entire Philippines in areas that are not being
cultivated and even in mountainous or cogonal sites.
– It grows the whole year round, and matured within 90 days. The tree is rough with 10-13
meters high. The fruit has cluster of thorns that separates when matured. The seed contains
oil that does not dry up, with a slight odor and has acrid taste.
– the residue can be used as medicine or animal feed.
– good bait for catching insects or from pests.
– the oil can be used as motor oil or diesel fuel since the oil doesn’t dry up. This can be used
as lubricant for motors and rails of train.
– the oil can be used also in making clear soap.
– Since it has anti-bacterial property, it can be used as toothpaste, hair grower and in making
– one type of acid that comes from castor can be used in making nylon.
– the castor seed can be stored up to 3 years.
6. Jojoba seed – not yet being cultivated here but grow even in a very dry (soil) or salty soil.
– It is a kind of shrub and was discovered that the seed can be a source of oil. When this oil is
mixed with alcohol the result is diesel.
– Even in a very dry soil, a shrub can give 2.5 – 6 kilos of oil in a year. In a span of 3 to 4
years, one hectare jojoba plantation can produce 5,000 liters of premium oil (superior quality
– It can produce more if fertilizer is applied. It is now being cultivated by Premium Oils and
Lubricant Pty. Ltd. of Southwales, Australia.
7. Gopher Plant – like Jojoba, it is not yet here. It is a kind of grass that may grow in our
– When the tree gets wounded while pulling the leaves, sap appears which can be made into
crude oil. But the processing is very expensive.