Mobile-Apps Development for Biodiesel Distribution Tracking System and Supply Chain Monitoring


Iman Santoso
Department of Transport-System & Logistic, Duisburg-Essen University 47058 Duisburg, Germany

Bernd Noche
Department of Transport-System & Logistic Duisburg-Essen University, 47058 Duisburg, Germany


Biodiesel is considered as the most prominent alternative to replacing or complement petroleum-diesel in the future. It is slowly gaining its importance in our daily life. Nevertheless, there are several problems emerged in the biodiesel supply chain, e.g. biodegradability, quality control, disturbance in the distribution of biodiesel, interrupted feedstock, supply and lack of governance. A new approach of biodiesel supply chain management has been developed based on mobile-application to overcome such problems. Determining the fact that biodiesel is degradable over time, the system also possessed by feature to maintain the biodiesel quality during transport, besides bringing-out simple and user-friendly supply-trading application on hand to hand. A wide range of biodiesel supply chain monitoring, distribution tracking and quality checking are demonstrated during the process of ordering, stocking, buying and sending biodiesel. The mobile-application has been tested for performance analysis on processor, battery and data usage. All menus, performance test and survey show good responses although at the security aspect is found the necessity of extra-development. Further analysis indicates that such system also fit for feedstock plantation, cultivation, harvesting and procurement. Overall, this method is worthy suggested to be implemented on the accreditation board of biodiesel that manages the entire supply, orders, trades and quality of biodiesel from upstream to the downstream.

Keywords: biodiesel, supply chain, mobile-application, distribution, tracking

Download Full Paper

Biodiesel is classified as part of biofuel that is known by solid, liquid or gaseous fuels derived from organic matter using trans-esterification process. Biodiesel industry uses abbreviation of “B” to indicate the percentage of biodiesel in a gallon of fuel. Thus, the composition of 6% and 20% of biodiesel in a blend with petro-diesel is referred to “B6” and “B20”. Pure biodiesel that already derived from the transesterification process is called “B100”. Biodiesel is also referred to as FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester). However, biodiesel is not an instant product. Continual from a farmcultivation until production, blending, distribution and retail, it is running through lengthy process

The main problem of biodiesel supply-chain remains on its degradability over time, mainly influenced by temperature, presence of light, metal, oxygen and the condition of storage. Refers to that problem, there are several studies on the biodiesel stability that can be addressed to the following segment. According to Zhang (1988), biodiesel is categorized as an alternative diesel fuel consisting of alkyl monoester of fatty acids derived from vegetable oils. Typical Biodiesel characteristic is renewable, reduces the emission of some pollutants, and is also readily biodegradable in the environment. Bondioli (1995) and Thompson (1998) have recorded degradation of rapeseed oil methyl ester (RME) under different storage conditions, using different variable of acidity peroxide value and viscosity have been studied. It is reported that acid value (AV), peroxide value (PV) and viscosity (v) increased with time. Monyem (2000) and Mittelbach (2001) have discovered that the biodiesel oxidation is influenced by several factors, such as elevated temperature, light, the presence of metals, and other conditions that may accelerate oxidation. High temperature, together with air exposure, rapidly grows the biodiesel degradation rate, while the temperature and air exposure had little effect on biodiesel degradation (Leung, 2006). In line with the degradation issues of common biodiesel distribution that previously mentioned, this paper is focusing its study on the Indonesian biodiesel industry in the term of supply chain. Indonesian biodiesel also faces several problems experienced by Indonesian state own oil operator PERTAMINA (2012) through the following points description: 1) Empirical proven that biodiesel cannot be stored for too long and can be easily damaged by water environment. 2) Lack of governance and quality verification test. 3) Some fuel terminals has small throughput, which is not very economical if infrastructure is built such as shore tank biodiesel. In this case, biodiesel and petro-diesel are blended from the tank biodiesel-truck directly. Regularly, it leads a disturbance in the distribution of biodiesel or even delay in supply biodiesel. 4) Dissolution supply for the region that has no feedstock or remote districts. Moreover, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce also determine industrial requirements of biodiesel by following criteria: 1) Biodiesel has to be had compatible on quality or better than normal diesel fuel, 2) Continuity of feedstock supply, 3) End product distribution enhancement, 4) Planned and measurable conversion program, 5) Continuous supplies to the wholesaler and interconnection of the information flow (Wirawan, 2008).

Download Full Paper

The research conducts in the corridor of supply chain management that considers several aspects of governance, biodiesel distribution, online-transaction and trading. The following methodologies are carried out to pursue the research objectives, i.e.: 1) Literature Review, 2) SupplyChain Software Development Process Model, 3) Performance-analysis and 4) Questioner.

Supply-Chain Software Development Process is a pattern to develop software/application system in the field of supply chain which consider several aspects, like supply chain requirements, governance, validation, coding and testing (Santoso, 2014). This method modifies V-model of software development life-cycle using supply-chain and governance approach. Employing such system makes the research more systematic and well-documented (Figure 2). Moreover, network configurations that can be customized would provide an element of flexibility. Raw-material suppliers, grain-transporters, biodiesel-producers, petrodiesel refinery stations, blending-stations, biodieselblending-transporters and pump-stations owners could sit together to determine the initial requirements of the systemdesign upfront and adjusted to the desired logistics strategy. As biodiesel supply chain member, they have to setup the governance structure, rules, regulations and hierarchyprivilege of each member. Then, the system developer has to validate the requirements to match with the governance structure using a rule-testing regulation.

Download Full Paper

A small step towards novel supply chain management of biodiesel has been developed which handles the transactions and distribution tracking using an application for mobile platform especially Android-OS. It is very essential and helps strengthening the product life cycle. The developed-application makes the transaction more accurate, flexible, faster and reliable. The tracking-system increase visibility and the quality management ensure product quality. Performance analysis and survey proof that a better battery life has been shown. The usage of battery is 20% efficient than other client server based applications using the inbuilt battery check mechanism of the implemented platform. User survey provides higher ratings on performance, reliability, usability, appearance and userfriendliness. However, security is the remaining problems should be considered.

The apps can also be customized since there is flexibility during design phase. It can be expanded based on the initial meeting of the biodiesel supply chain members such as raw-material suppliers, grain-transporters, biodieselproducers, petro-diesel refinery stations, blending-stations, biodiesel-blending-transporters and pump-station owners. The members have also initially design the governance structure, rules and regulations, access management, and any other related issues of authentication or privacy. It would be also flexible, whether it will be used to adjust the vertical or horizontally integrated manufacturer or implemented using push-pull supply chain strategy. The system also can be designed specifically to a contractual, transactional or relational governance of supply chain. All requirements can be tailored in accordance to the agreement in the beginning include the terms of efficient logistic. Thereby, the principles of good governance i.e. Efficient, Accountable, Transparent, Responsive, Equitable and Inclusive could be fulfilled. All of this system ability emerges from the method that namely “Supply-Chain Software Development Process (SC-SDP)”. Moreover, the proposed system is suggested to be integrated as the accreditation board of biodiesel which can help to manage the entire supply, orders, trades and quality of biodiesel from upstream to the downstream.

Download Full Paper

About Author

Muhammad Iman Santoso (ST., MSc.) is a PhD-candidate in the departement of Transport Systems and Logistics at the University of Duisburg-Essen. In addition to actively teaching the seminar and research at his insitute, he also ever taught at the Univ. Applied Science SRH Hamm. His research interests are: supply chain governance, logistic-network design, biofuel supply chain, information systems for supply chain management and simulation (operation-research). He has also been involved on several logistic projects in Germany and Indonesia such as warehouse design, port-analysis, supply chain monitoring and supply chain of alternative fuels.

Bernd Noche (Dr.-Ing, Dipl.-Ing) is a Professor in the field of Transport Systems and Logistics at the University of Duisburg-Essen. His research interests are: location planning in distribution logistics, acceptance of logistics systems, scheduling systems, simulation and planning of distribution centers, design of intermodal transport chains and monitoring of supply chain management systems. Besides teaching, for more than 25 years he is practising design and optimization of Supply Chain Management (SCM) projects in Europe, Asia and Latin America as a manager of the SimulationsDienstleistungs-Zentrum (SDZ) GmbH, one of prestigious SCM consultant in Dortmund.