Abstract on BIODIESEL TOMORROWS FUEL - creativeworld9

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011



Biodiesel is an alternative to conventional diesel fuel made from renewable resources, such as non-edible vegetable oils. The oil from seeds (e.g., Jatropha and Pongamia) can be converted to a fuel commonly referred to as "Biodiesel." No engine modifications are required to use biodiesel in place of petroleum-based diesel. Biodiesel can be mixed with petroleum-based diesel in any proportion.  This interest is based on a number of properties of biodiesel including the fact that it is produced from a renewable domestic source, its biodegradability, and its potential to reduce exhaust emissions. The climate change is presently an important element of energy use and development. Biodiesel is considered "climate neutral" because all of the carbon dioxide released during consumption had been sequestered out of the atmosphere during crop growth.  The use of biodiesel resulted in lower emissions of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter. Biodiesel also increased catalytic converter efficiency in reducing particulate emissions. Chemical characterization also revealed lower levels of some toxic and reactive hydrocarbon species when biodiesel fuels were used. The fuel consumption in the world particularly in developing countries has been growing at alarming rate. Petroleum prices approaching record highs and they will deplete within few decades, it is clear that more can be done to utilize domestic non-edible oils while enhancing our energy security. The economic benefits include support to the agriculture sector, tremendous employment opportunities in plantation and processing. Jatropha and Pongamia are known just crude plants which grow on eroded soils and require a hot climate and hardly any water to survive. These are the strong reasons, enforcing the development of biodiesel plants.

Biodiesel is defined as mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats which conform to ASTM D6751 ( American Society for Testing & Materials ). It is the name of a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable resources and animal fats. Today’s diesel engines require a clean –burning, stable fuel that performs well under a variety of operation conditions. It is the only alternative fuel that can be used directly in any existing, unmodified diesel engine. Because it has similar properties to petroleum diesel fuel, biodiesel can be blended in any ratio with petroleum diesel fuel. Specifications for use in diesel engines. Biodiesel refers to the pure fuel before blending with diesel fuel. Biodiesel blends are denoted as “BXX” with “XX” representing the percentage of biodiesel contained in the blend (ie: B20 is 20% biodiesel, 80% petroleum diesel). It is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. It is made though a chemical process called transesterification where by the glycerin is separated from the fat or vegetable oil. Fuel-grade biodiesel must be produced to strict industry specifications in order to insure proper performance. It is better for the environment because it is made from, renewable resources and has lower emissions compared to petroleum diesel. It is less toxic than table salt and biodegrades as fast as sugar. It can be made in India from renewable resources such as Jatropha and Pongamia. Its use decreases our dependence on foreign oil and contributes to our own economy.
          Dr. Rudolf diesel actually invented the diesel engine to run on a myriad of fuels including coal dust suspended in water, heavy mineral oil and you guessed it, vegetable oil. Dr. Diesel’s first engine experiments were catastrophic failures.  But by the time he showed his engine at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900, his engine was running on 100% peanut oil. Dr. Diesel was visionary. In 1911 he stated “The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it. “In 1912, Diesel said, “The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today. But such oils may become in course of time as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time”.  Since Dr. Diesel’s untimely death in 1913, his engine has been modified to run on the polluting petroleum fuel we now know as “diesel”. Nevertheless, his ideas on agriculture and his invention provide the foundation for a society with clean, renewable, locally grown fuel.

The production of Biodiesel,or alkyl esters, is well known . There are three basic routes to ester production from oils and fats.
1.       Base catalyzed transesterification of the oil with alcohol.
2.       Direct acid catalyzed esterification of the oil with methanol.
3.       Conversion of the oil to fatty acids, and then to alkyl esters with acid catalysis.
The majority of the alkyl esters produced today are done with the base catalyzed reaction
  Because it is the most economic for several reasons.
•             Low temperature (150F) and pressure (20psi) processing.
•             High conversion (98%) with minimal side reactions and reaction time.
•             Direct conversion to methyl ester with no intermediate steps.

VEG OIL: Jatropha, pongamia.
ALCOHOLS:  Methanol, Ethanol.
CATALYST:  Sodium hydroxide, Potassium hydroxide.

The most common derivatives of agricultural oil for fuels are methyl esters. These are formed by transesterification of the oil with methanol in the presence of a catalyst (usually basic) to give methyl ester and glycerol. Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) is the most common catalyst, though others such as potassium hydroxide (KOH) can also be used.

100 kg oil+24 kg methanol+2.5 kg NaOH a 100 kg biodiesel+26 kg glycerine

Transesterification chemistry

R' R'' R''' = oil acids; R = (CH2)xCH3

The methanol and NaOH are premixed and added to the oil, mixed for a few hours, and allowed to gravity settle for about 8 hours. The glycerine settles to the bottom, leaving biodiesel on the top. The physical and chemical properties of the resulting biodiesel (Jatropha methyl esters) are presented in the following Table alongside those for petroleum diesel and European Union standards for biodiesel.

Jatropha Biodiesel properties compared with petro-diesel and EU standards

Jatropha biodiesel
Petroleum diesel
E.U. standards for biodiesel
Density @ 30C
> 0.8
Combustion point
> 55
Kinetic viscosity
2 - 8
Calorific potential
Cetane number
> 48
Ester content
> 99
> 99
Sulfur content
< 0.5
< 0.55
Carbon residue
< 0.35
< 0.1

The process of manufacture of Biodiesel and the properties of Biodiesel are more or less similar for Jatropha and Pongamia.

Jatropha Curcas

The Jatropha Curcas plant has the potential, for use as an oil crop for Biodiesel. The Jatropha plant is Latin American in origin and is closely related to the castor plant. It is a large shrub / small tree able to thrive in a number of climactic zones in arid and semi-arid tropical regions of the world. It can grow in areas of low rainfall (250 mm per year minimum, 900-1,200 mm optimal) and is drought resistant. And is not browsed by animals.
•        Planting density - 1,000 plants per Acre
•        Productivity - Starts yielding after on year, but the maximum productivity from 5th year onwards
•        Life Span - 50 years
•        Yield per hectare / year – 0.4 to 12 tonnes

Pongamia Pinnata

The Pongamia Pinnata is a native of the Western Ghats and is chiefly found along the banks of streams and rivers or near the sea on beaches and tidal forests. It also grows in dry places far in the interior. It is a hardy tree that mines water for its needs from 10 meter depths without competing with other crops. It grows all over the country, from the coastline to the hill slopes. It needs very little care and cattle do not browse it. It has rich leathery evergreen foliage that can be used as green manure.
•        Planting density - 200 to 250 per Acre
•        Productivity - Starts yielding pods from 3 rd year onwards , but the mature average of 150 kg prods per tree per year from 10 th year onwards
•        Life Span - 100 years
•        Yield per hectare / year – 6 to 9 tonnes.
Each tree can yield 40 Liters of oil, 120 Kg of fertilizer grade oil cake and 250 Kg of biomass as green manure per year. When in bloom, the Pongamia trees can be used for bee harvesting and honey production. The long term adverse impacts of mono cropping of Pongamia and even Jatropha need to be evaluated and confirmed.


Glycerine (glycerin, glycerol) is the by-product of making biodiesel. What sinks to the bottom of the biodiesel processor during the settling stage is a mixture of glycerine, methanol, soaps and the catalyst. Once separated from the biodiesel, adding phosphoric acid to the glycerine layer precipitates the catalyst out and also converts the soaps back to free fatty acids (FFAs), which float on top. The resultant products are light-colored precipitate on the bottom, glycerine/methanol/water in the middle, and FFA on top. The glycerine will be approx. 95% pure, a product to sell to refiners.

De-oiled Cake

The residual crushed seed, known as de-oiled cake, is a good source of manure, which can be used locally, or for export. The seed husks can be used to make packaging materials.

 Successful alternative fuels fulfill environmental and energy security needs without sacrificing operating performance. Operationally, biodiesel performs very similar to low sulfur diesel in terms of power, torque, and fuel with out major modifications of engines or infrastructure.
Biodiesel offers similar power to diesel fuel. One of major advantages of biodiesel is the fact
That it can be used in existing engines and fuel injection equipment with little impact to operating performance. Biodiesel has a higher cetane number than diesel fuel. In over 15 million
Miles of in-field demonstrations biodiesel showed similar fuel consumption, horsepower, torque,
And haulage rates as conventional diesel fuel. Biodiesel provides significant lubricity improvement over petroleum diesel fuel. Lubricity results of biodiesel and petroleum diesel using industry test methods indicate that there is a marked improvement in lubricity when added to conventional diesel fuel.

The Tamilnadu government along with the forest department has planned a project for cultivation of Jatropha in 150,000 hectares in Tamilnadu. Any farmer with land can make their lands available for the jatropha project and the seedlings as well as technical assistance for grow-out will be provided by the forest department.
The Indian Railway is to raise jatropha along the railway track and plan to plant jatropha along 25,000 route kilometers on two sides of the track. They plan to replace 10% of their total petro-diesel consumption by jatropha. The project has been started on a pilot scale.
A Tamilnadu firm is working on a project to grow 600,000 hectares of jatropha on lands owned by farmers in various parts of Tamilnadu. They will provide farmers with the seedlings and Rs. 3,000 per hectare for land preparation and planting. They will contract with farmers to buy out their entire production of jatropha seeds.
The Maharashtra Agro-forestry department has been actively encouraging the raising of jatropha in watershed development projects.
A similar project as in Maharashtra is being attempted in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
The planning board of Haryana Government They are planning to grow jatropha on 50,000 acres ( 5,000 acres every year ) to attract farmers to crop cycle Diversification.
The Rural Community Action Centre (RCAC) in Tamilnadu state is promoting the plantation and use of jatropha.
The Gujarat Agricultural University is planning the plantation of jatropha on wasteland for income generation.      

Biodiesel contains no sulfur or aromatics, and use of biodiesel in a conventional diesel engine results in substantial reduction so unburned  hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. Biodiesel can be manufactured using existing industrial production capacity and used with conventional equipment, is provides substantial opportunity for immediately addressing our energy security issues.  Increased utilization of renewable biofuels results in significant microeconomic benefits to both the urban and rural sectors.


Emission Type

Total Unburned Hydrocarbons
Carbon Monoxide
Particulate Matter


PAH(Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)**
NPAH(nitrated PAH’s)**
Ozone potential of speciated HC

*Estimated from B 100 result
**Average reduction across all compounds measured
*** 2-nitroflourine tests results were within the test method variability.

To diminish the present dependency on imported fuels:
We are spending Rs 82000 crores per annum for imported crude petroleum. We are losing max amount of foreign exchange on crude oils. If we can save percentage of this amount, it will be useful for the construction of a heavily irrigation project sources.
To develop the renewable energy sources:
 The energy consumption in the world particularly in the industrialized countries has been growing at alarming rate. Fossil fuels which today meet major part of the energy demand are being depleted quickly world has started running out of oil and it estimated that 80% of the world’s supplies will be consumed in our life times. Coal supply may appear to be large but even this stock may not last longer than a few decades. Thus we are forced to look for renewable energy.

To boost up the rural economics:
India has “rain shadow area” about 8crore hectares Jatropha; the prime element for the extraction of biodiesel can be grown. It was known just a crude plant which grows on eroded soil and requires a hot climate and hardly any water to survive. The Jatropha cactus plants grow on poor degraded soils and are able to ensure a reasonable production of seeds with very little input. The production rate is 5-15 tones per year per hectare. The farmer gets profit of nearly
Rs 40,000 per hectare per year. It also increases the employment in rural areas.

To develop eco friendly fuels:
Biodiesel contains no sulfur or aromatics, and use of biodiesel in a conventional diesel engine results in substantial reduction of unburned hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide and particulate matter.
A US department of energy study showed that the production and use of biodiesel, compared petroleum diesel, resulted in a 78.5% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover biodiesel has a positive energy balance.

•        The higher cetane number of biodiesel compared to petro-diesel indicates potential for higher engine performance. Tests have shown that biodiesel has similar or better fuel consumption, horsepower, and torque and haulage rates as conventional diesel
•        The superior lubricating properties of biodiesel increases functional engine efficiency
•        Their higher flash point makes them safer to store
•        The biodiesel molecules are simple hydrocarbon chains, containing no sulfur, or aromatic substances associated with fossil fuels
•        They contain higher amount oxygen (up to 10%) that ensures more complete combustion of hydrocarbons
•        Biodiesel almost completely eliminates lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions. When compared to petro-diesel it reduces emission of particulate matter by 40%, unburned hydrocarbons by 68%, carbon monoxide by 44%, sulphates by 100%, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by 80%, and the carcinogenic nitrated PAHs by 90% on an average. The use of biodiesel complements the working of the catalysator and can help a current EURO-1 motor attain the EURO-111 standards.
•        Fixation of up to 10 t/ha/yr CO2 that could be internationally traded
•        Production of 1 t/ ha/yr of high protein seed cake (60% crude protein) that can be potentially used as animal and fish feeds and organic matter that could be used as organic fertilizer particularly in remote areas
•        Various other products from the plant (leaf, bark and seed extracts) have various other industrial and pharmaceutical uses
•        Localised production and availability of quality fuel
•        Restoration of degraded land over a period of time
•        Rural employment generation

Disadvantages of Biodiesel
•        High cost of production: will eventually solve itself when large-scale production and use starts. Also, the price of petro-diesel does not take into account its actual cost (when environmental and military costs are included).
•        Modifications are required to the automobiles for use of biofuel: many automobile brands are currently marketed ready for use of bio diesel.
•        High CFPP (cold filter plugging point) values and hence solidification and clogging of the system at low temperatures: this problem occurs only in places where the temperature goes down to around 0°C, even here the problem is currently solved by adding additives.

Biodiesel is safe to handle because it is biodegradable and non-toxic. Biodiesel reduces all the emission. Biodiesel can be used alone or mixed in any amount with petroleum diesel fuel. Biodiesel runs in any conventional, unmodified diesel engine.  No engine modifications are necessary to use biodiesel and there is no “engine conversion”.  Increased utilization of renewable biofuels results in significant microeconomic benefits to both the urban and rural sectors, and the balance of trade.  It is clear that more can be done to utilize domestic surpluses of vegetable oils while enhancing our energy security.  Because biodiesel can be manufactured using existing industrial production capacity, and used with conventional equipment, it provides substantial opportunity for immediately addressing our energy security issues.


We wish to thank Sri K.V.G.Rao, the Assistant Professor of the Mechanical Department of KLCE. 


 1. Cole, G. Mattney, 2003.Assessment and remediation of petroleum contaminated sites publishers 1982 test guidelines chemical fate-aerobic aquatic bio degradation.
2. Peterson, Charles L., Feldman M, korus R, and Auld DL, 1991.Batchtype transesterification process for winter rape oil asae paper, MI 49085-9659.
3. Pitter, pavel and chudoba Jan 1990 biodegradability of organic substances in the aquatic environment
4. U.S.Department of energy 2003 biorefinery ppt .Shaine Tyson nrel golden Colorado, USA
5. “Performance evaluation and emission characteristics of a compression ignition engine using esterified biodiesels “at CES, IIT Delhi 1996 (Advisor Prof lMlm Das)
6. LM Das “Biodiesel development and characterization for use as a fuel in compression ignition engine” journal of engineering for gas turbine and power (ASME Transaction journal), vol 123 pp440-447, April 2001.
7. Feasibility of Biodiesel for Rural Electrification in India, Jeffrey L. Rosenblum, Carnegie Mellon University
8. The Biomass Project, 2000. Curcas Oil Methyl Ester. Nicaragua.BRINGI, N.V., "Non-Traditional Oilseeds and Oils in India", Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. PVT. Ltd.. New Delhi, India pp 143-166. 2

Abstract on BIODIESEL TOMORROWS FUEL Reviewed by creativeworld9 on 12:55 PM Rating: 5 BIODIESEL TOMORROWS FUEL ABSTRACT Biodiesel is an alternative to conventional diesel fuel made from renewable resources, such as non...


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