Background Information on Biodiesel
Agriculture and industry utilize the diesel-powered engine for a multitude of purpose, but the supply of petroleum derived diesel fuel is limited. The depletion in world petroleum reserves and uncertainty in petroleum supply due to political and economical reasons stimulated the search for alternative sources for petroleum based fuels especially for diesel fuels. Vegetable Oils are the best candidates for diesel fuels in diesel engines. Several vegetable oils have been tried as substitutes, but continued use of triglyceride fuels in the diesel engine has presented problems in fuel injector coking and crankcase lubricant polymerization. Both of these problems have been attributed to high viscosity of vegetable oil, which is approximately 10-20 times higher than petrodiesel. Higher viscosity causes the poor atomization of fuel in the injector system and poor spray pattern. Viscosity can be reduced by following four ways (a) By blending, (b)By transesterification, (c) By microemulsification, and (d) By pyrolysis. By using any of these procedures, appreciable amount of viscosity reduction and improved spray pattern can be achieved.
What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a diesel fuel substitute produced from
renewable sources such as vegetable oils, animal fats, and recycled
cooking oils. Chemically, it is defined as the mono alkyl esters of long
chain fatty acids derived from renewable lipid sources. Biodiesel is
typically produced through the reaction of a vegetable oil or animal fat
with methanol or ethanol in the presence of a catalyst to yield glycerin
and biodiesel (chemically called methyl or ethyl esters). Biodiesel can be
used in neat form, or blended with petroleum diesel for use in diesel
engines. Its physical and chemical properties as it relates to operation
of diesel engines are similar to petroleum based diesel fuel.
How much land is needed to replace fossil fuels used
by Michael S. Briggs
First, we need to understand exactly how much biodiesel would be needed
to replace all petroleum transportation fuels. So, we need to start with
how much petroleum is currently used for that purpose. Per the Department
of Energy's statistics, each year the US consumes roughly 60 billion
gallons of petroleum diesel and 120 billion gallons of gasoline. First, we
need to realize that spark-ignition engines that run on gasoline are
generally about 40% less efficient than diesel engines. So, if all
spark-ignition engines are gradually replaced with compression-ignition
(Diesel) engines for running biodiesel, we wouldn't need 120 billion
gallons of biodiesel to replace that 120 billion gallons of gasoline. To
be conservative, we will assume that the average Diesel engine is 35% more
efficient, so we'd need 35% less diesel fuel to replace that gasoline.
That would work out to 78 billion gallons of diesel fuel. Combine that
with the 60 billion gallons of diesel already used, for a total of 138
billion gallons. Now, biodiesel is about 5-8% less energy dense than
petroleum diesel, but its greater lubricity and more complete combustion
offset that somewhat, leading to an overall fuel efficiency about 2% less
than petroleum diesel. So, we'd need about 2% more than that 138 billion
gallons, or 140.8 billion gallons of biodiesel. So, this figure is based
on vehicles equivalent to those in use today, but with
compression-ignition (Diesel) engines running on biodiesel, rather than a
mix of petroleum diesel and gasoline. Combined diesel-electric hybrids in
wide use would of course bring this number down considerably, but for now
we'll just stick with this figure.
One of the biggest advantages of biodiesel compared to other
alternative transportation fuels is that it can be used in existing diesel
engines. This completely eliminates the "chicken-and-egg" dilemma that
other alternatives have, such as hydrogen powered fuel cells. For fuel
cells, even when (and if) vehicle manufacturers eventually have production
stage vehicles ready, nobody would buy them unless there was already a
wide scale hydrogen fuel production and distribution system in place. But,
no companies would be interested in building that wide scale hydrogen fuel
production and distribution system until a significant number of fuel cell
vehicles are on the road, so that consumers are ready to start using it.
However, with biodiesel, since the same engines can run on conventional
petroleum diesel, manufacturers can comfortably produce diesel vehicles
before biodiesel is available on a wide scale. As biodiesel production
continues to ramp up, it can just go into the same fuel distribution
infrastructure, just replacing petroleum diesel. Not only does this
eliminate the chicken-and-egg problem, making biodiesel a much more
feasible alternative than fuel cells, but also eliminates the huge cost of
revamping the nationwide fuel distribution infrastructure.
II. Large scale production
There are two steps that would need to be taken for producing biodiesel
on a large scale - growing the feedstocks, and processing them into
biodiesel. The latter step would perhaps be best accomplished by existing
oil refineries within the US being converted to biodiesel refineries, but
could also be accomplished by new companies building new plants. The main
issue that is often contested is whether or not we would be able to grow
enough crops to provide the oil for producing the amount of biodiesel that
would be required to completely replace petroleum as a transportation
fuel. So, that is the main issue that will be addressed here.
The Office of Fuels Development, a division of the Department of
Energy, funded a program from 1978 through 1996 under the National
Renewable Energy Laboratory known as the "Aquatic Species Program". The
focus of this program was to investigate high oil yield algaes that could
be grown specifically for the purpose of wide scale biodiesel production1.
Some species of algae are ideally suited to biodiesel production due to
their high oil content (some as much as 50% oil), and extremely fast
growth rates. From the results of the Aquatic Species Program2,
algae farms would let us supply enough biodiesel to completely replace
petroleum as a transportation fuel in the US (as well as its other main
use - home heating oil).
One of the important concerns about wide scale development of biodiesel
is if it would displace croplands currently used for food crops. With
algae, that concern is completely eliminated, as algae grows ideally in
either hot desert climates or off of waste streams. NREL's research
focused on the development of algae farms in desert regions, using shallow
salt water pools for growing the algae. Another nice benefit of using
algae as a food stock is that in addition to using considerably less water
than traditional oilseed crops, algae also grows best in salt water, so
farms could be built near the ocean with no need to desalinate the
seawater as it is used to fill the ponds.
NREL's research showed that one quad (ten billion gallons) of biodiesel
could be produced from 200,000 hectares of desert land (200,000 hectares
is equivalent to 780 square miles). In the previous section, we found that
to replace all transportation fuels in the US, we would need 140.8 billion
gallons of biodiesel, or roughly 14 quads. To produce that amount would
require a land mass of almost 11,000 square miles. To put that in
perspective, consider that the Sonora desert in the southwestern US
comprises 120,000 square miles. As can be seen in Figure 1 below, the
Sonora desert is located along the Pacific ocean, making it an ideal
location for algae farms. The arid climate of the desert is very
supportive of algae growth, and the nearby ocean could supply saltwater
for the algae ponds. Enough biodiesel to replace all petroleum
transportation fuels could be grown in 11,000 square miles, or roughly
nine percent of the area of the Sonora desert.
1 hectare = 2.4711 acres
1729770 acres can produce 1 quad
14 quads needs 24216780 acres
640 acres = 1 square mile
24216780 acres = 10811 Square Miles
| Page 2
THE CHEWONKI FOUNDATION CHRONICLE
HOW CHEWONKI IS USING RECYCLED COOKING OIL
TO HEAT ITS BUILDINGS AND RUN ITS VEHICLES
THE BIODIESEL PROJECT
Three days a week, Peter Arnold's workday begins well before he gets
to his office at Chewonki. Peter is the man with the baby blue truck that
has a small hydraulic barrel hoist mounted in the bed-"the vehicle
that looks like an oversized and off-color praying mantis" he
says-and it is his job to pick up the oil. Leaving his home in
Damariscotta, Peter stops first at Reunion Station Restaurant on Route 1
and hoists aboard a 55-gallon metal drum of used cooking oil. Although a
full drum can weigh almost 500 pounds, Peter handles the job easily by
himself, thanks to the hoist. His next stop is the Sheepscot River Inn,
but here the barrel is only half full, and Peter makes a mental note to
stop again tomorrow.
He then heads for Red's Eats and Nick's Pizza in Wiscasset. Both small
eateries set aside several 5-gallon plastic jugs of used fryolator oil for
Chewonki, and Peter simply plops the jugs into his truck bed. The last
stop is the Sea Basket Restaurant, a few miles farther down Route 1.
"This is by far our largest supplier," Peter explains, and here
he uses the hoist again to pick up another 55-gallon drum of used
vegetable oil. Full Article
Biodiesel Discussion Groups:
"Fuel for Thought: The Carbohydrate Economy, Cooperatives, and
Development," by David Morris, Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR),
article in Farmer Cooperatives Magazine, April 1995.
Agricultural Cooperatives and Marketing Bioenergy Crops: Case Studies of
Emerging Cooperative Development for Agriculture and Energy, Mark
et al, presented at BioEnergy 1998, Madison, WI, October 1998. See
Biodiesel and the Development of New-Wealth Industries: A Contract for
America, by William C. Holmberg American Biofuels Association.
presented at 1994 International Winter Meeting of the American Society
Agricultural Engineers, December 1994.
"Macroeconomic Effects of a Community-Based Biodiesel Production
D.L. Van Dyne, J.A. Weber, and C.H. Braschler. Article in
Technology, Issue 56, Elsevier Publishing 1996.
Biofuel Tax Issues (UK)
Diesel to Vegetable Oil Conversion - http://www.goatindustries.fsnet.co.uk/conversionkits/conversionkits.htm
The Alternative-fuel Vehicle Directory - This directory includes links
to alternative fuel Web sites. There are EV conversions, the
electrochemistry of batteries and fuel cells, U.S. Government research
sites, university hybrid projects, regional EV associations and
international automobile manufacturers, among others. Enjoy! http://www.vwc.edu/library_tech/wwwpages/gnoe/avd.htm
Charts on Grain Usage and Exports - University of Maryland
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 5, 2000
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Kielich, 202/586-5806
Trees and Trash to Paint, Plastics and Power
Energy Department Sponsors Growing Fields of
Research in Biobased Energy, Product Development
U. S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson today announced that over $10
million will be available to help develop technology to produce industrial
chemicals and a host of everyday consumer goods such as plastics, paints
and adhesives from biomass sources like crops, trees and agricultural and
forest wastes. An additional $675,000 is being made available to research
and develop "biomass co-firing" -- combining renewable biomass
sources such as wood and wood residues with fossil fuels such as coal to
produce electricity. http://www.doe.gov/news/releases00/junpr/pr00151.htm
Canadian Renewable Fuels
Association - Biodiesel Information Centre - http://www.greenfuels.org/bioindex.html
- Biofuel Links
Journey to Forever - Mike Pellyís recipe
- Mike Pelly lives in the US
North West. He has much more knowledge and experience of biofuels than
we do. "I live for renewable energy projects," he says.
been making his own biodiesel fuel from waste cooking oil for the last
three years, using it in several different cars. He finds it "far
superior" to fossil-based diesel fuel.
BIODIESEL FUEL FACT SHEET
is a liquid fuel that can replace regular diesel fuel. Itís made from
vegetable oil. Biodiesel
can run diesel engines that are commonly found in big vehicles such as
trucks, buses, or boats. On the island of Maui, Biodiesel
fuel is already available to county and private fleets.
- Rudolf Diesel developed the idea for the diesel engine and obtained
the German patent for it in 1892. His goal was to create an engine with
high efficiency. Gasoline engines had been invented 1876 and, especially
at that time, were not very efficient.
Biodiesel at Dancing Rabbit
- Given that our only motorized vehicle right now is a diesel van we
have chosen to focus our energy now on biodiesel,
with plans to look into methanol, ethanol, and biogas soon. With help
from the Veggie Van folks we
learned to make our own biodiesel from waste oil from fast food
restaurants and we are building our own little biodiesel factory. We are
also looking into possibilities of buying biodiesel from a distributor
in Kansas City since so far we have not been able to make all we need
ourselves given our limited labor and the local waste oil supply. In the
future we hope to set up a local production system using waste oil and
locally grown feedstocks (ie soybeans).
- I am using waste fryer oil (WVO) to make bio-diesel (methyl esters),
and am using that to run my Datsun diesel pickup!!
The process is called transesterification. It is a
simple operation, you mix some organic oils with methanol
and lye. Proper proportions must, of coarse, be
I am using Old Fryer Oil, also known as WVO or waste vegetable oil.
- INTERNATIONAL LIQUID BIOFUELS
Unlike ethanol, which is an alcohol, biodiesel is an ester (similar
to vinegar) that can be made from several types of oils such as soybean,
rapeseed, and vegetable or animal fats. Through a process called
transesterification, organically derived oils are combined with alcohol
(ethanol or methanol) and chemically altered to form fatty esters such
as ethyl or methyl ester. The biomass-derived ethyl or methyl esters can
be blended with conventional diesel fuel or used as a neat fuel (100%
Waste Oil Burner, Fuel Oil Conversions
- TCD Enterprises has developed a burner
that is able to burn any grade of waste oil. It can be used to convert any
regular oil furnace into a furnace able to burn waste oil. This
burner includes many features that make it more attractive than burners
that are available commercially. Some of these features are:
More: Waste Oil Burner, Fuel Oil Conversions
- Basically, it uses the air atomization principle, with a vaporizer
strip as a secondary ignitor. It lights easily and delivers a bright
clean smoke free flame with very little chance of fouling or plugging
from dirty oil. It requires a small volume of air - about .3 cfm - from
your shop air compressor. There are no fine screens or small orifices
that the oil has to be forced through. All construction materials are
simple, inexpensive, and available almost anywhere. these units can be
built in two or three days at a cost of from $50 to $200. Factory-made
heaters with comparable or less efficiency cost from two to ten thousand
dollars. At the present time we have three sets of plans available.
Following is a brief description of each.
Welcome to Lather Land! I'm Elaine White, author of "Soap
Recipes". I compiled a lot of online
soapmaking information for you!
Information Compiled by Kathy
Miller - http://users.silverlink.net/~timer/soapinfo.html
E L S B E T Tģ - Pioneer of the diesel- & multifuel-engine-technology
, Journey to Forever Project -Biofuels
"How can you say you're environmentalists?" asked a
local sceptic. "Your Land Rovers aren't green at all -- one runs on
leaded petrol and the other's a dirty diesel."
Making Your Own Fuel
- Making fuel isn't just for the big oil companies. You CAN make your
own! Hydrogen gas, Alcohol and Methane gas can be made at home for fun
and profit. Well... its not very much fun and there isn't much profit in
it, but it can be done.
Cruisin' on corn oil
- It's a perfectly ordinary car, except for the message painted on the
side: THIS CAR RUNS ON VEGETABLE OIL.
- Since 1750 the Connemann family from Leer has dealt with green soap,
with oil seeds, oil and cake or meal, with flax and wood, today named
renewable resources. In the year 1887 the first German
oilseed-extraction unit was built in Leer.
Biodiesel Board, formerly known as the National SoyDiesel
Development Board, is a not-for-profit corporation created and based in
Jefferson City, Missouri, dedicated to the commercialization and
industrialization of biodiesel.
Biodiesel is the name for a variety of ester-based
oxygenated fuels from renewable biological sources. It can be used in
compression- ignition (diesel) engines without any modifications. Pure
biodiesel is biodegradable, nontoxic and essentially free of sulfur and
Biodiesel is a diesel fuel replacement made from vegetable oil. The
University of Idaho has been involved in Biodiesel research since 1979.
Dr. Charles Peterson is a leader in this field and has headed many
Biodiesel research projects for various local, state, federal, and
The University of Idaho has run many diesel engines on various forms
of Biodiesel. Farm machinery, stationary engines, Cummins Diesel engines
in Dodge Pickups, Navistar engines in Ford Pickups, and soon to be run
in a Caterpillar engine in a Kenworth Truck.
Biodiesel can be made from most any plant derived oil. Biodiesel is
actually an alcohol ester of vegetable oil. Research at the University
of Idaho has involved the following types of oils. http://www.uidaho.edu/bae/biodiesel/
Soy Diesel MSDS - http://www.soygold.com/
- Biodiesel Development Corporation
http://www.nopec.com/ - NOPEC
Corporation is a Lakeland, Florida based manufacturer of methyl esters,
glycerin, and biodiesel fuel. NOPEC also provides Contract
Manufacturing Services and Biodiesel Production Technology. The
plant is a world showcase of the latest processing technology.
This state-of-the-art facility is the largest producer of biodiesel in
the United States.
- Alternative Fuels Data Center
Transit has joined with the University of Georgia in an alternative
fuels project. The project will measure fuel economy of a transit bus
powered by biodiesel. Biodiesel, a fuel produced from vegetable oil,
animal fats, or used cooking oils, is produced by combining fat with
alcohol. Transit and University staff were joined by local Mayor Gwen
O'Looney and Commissioners Tal DuVall and Charles Carter for the
"Biodiesel as an alternative fuel is considered a more cost
efficient choice among the available technologies for transit systems
this size," said Richard Matthews, Transit Director of Athens.
"The high capital costs associated with renovating the maintenance
and fueling facilities to operate equipment on compressed natural gas is
not present with biodiesel. The only facility modifications needed are a
separate fuel storage tank and pump. Facility modifications were
necessary for this project because only two buses were operated on a
biodiesel blend. If a bus system would switch the entire fleet to a
biodiesel blend, separate infrastructure would not be necessary. No
modifications to the equipment are needed if the vehicle is run with a
blend of 80% standard diesel and 20% bio-fuel. A vehicle can be run on a
"neat" or 100% biodiesel, but some fuel system components may
need to be changed." http://www.bae.uga.edu/outreach/biodiesel/
Fill 'Er Up . . . With Veggie Oil
Vegetable oils are moving from the kitchen table to the car engine http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc98/12_5_98/bob2.htm
Nebraska leads the nation in commercial cattle slaughter,
producing about 1 billion pounds of tallow annually. That tallow could
provide the cheapest large quantity source of raw materials for
biodiesel available. To help producers of beef tallow capitalize on this
material, the Industrial Agricultural Products Center has developed new
uses for it.
Researchers have combined 65 percent of tallow methyl esters with 35
percent of fuel ethanol. Mixing 20 percent of this blend with 80 percent
No. 2 diesel resulted in a fuel with a viscosity identical to diesel
alone. Engine performance was good.
The method most
commonly used to convert fats and oils into biodiesel is
transesterification. The products of the conversion are alcohol esters
and glycerol. With a new processing system, the IAPC expects to make
smaller manufacuring facilities economically competitive, and compatible
with rural communities. Small-scale biodiesel processing facilities
could eventually provide a base for other bioprocessing opportunities.
For example, facilities might be adapted to extract tallow's components
to make other products such as lubricants, solvents, polymers, and
Energy Biodiesel Fuels FutureTruck Innovations (PR
The United States Department of Energy, General Motors and other
automotive industry leaders are teaming up with the nation's top
engineering schools in order to develop cleaner, more fuel-efficient sport
utility vehicles for the 2000 annual FutureTruck competition held this
week in Phoenix, AZ.
- Jun 16 12:46 PM ET
Gate Petroleum Joins Growing List of Southern States Power Company Fuel
Distributors Bringing Nationwide Total to Five (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company Southern States Power Company is pleased to
announce the appointment of Golden Gate Petroleum of Concord, California
as its OXyGB-60 Biodiesel distributor for the West Coast.
- Jun 13 12:27 PM ET
Gas Prices are Raising Tempers: FutureTruck Teams Say, 'Fight Back By
Using Less Gas' (PR Newswire)
Drivers, gas station owners and political leaders are in a rage over this
week's sudden run-up in gasoline prices -- particularly in the Midwest.
- Jun 11 10:28 PM ET
to Distribute Southern States Power Company's OXyGB-60 Biodiesel
for Southern California (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company is pleased to announce the appointment of
Merit Oil of Bloomington California as its OXyGB-60 Biodiesel
distributor for Southern California.
- Jun 08 1:28 PM ET
States Power Company Announces Distributor of OXyGB-60 Biodiesel
For the State of Arizona (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company is pleased to announce the appointment of
Western States Petroleum of Phoenix, Arizona as its OXyGB-60 Biodiesel
distributor for Arizona.
- Jun 07 12:50 PM ET
States Power Company Announces Distributor of OXyGB-60 Biodiesel
For The State of Nevada (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company Southern States Power Company is pleased to
announce the appointment of Tri State Petroleum of Las Vegas Nevada as its
OXyGB-60 Biodiesel distributor for Nevada.
- Jun 06 12:19 PM ET
Expands Burgeoning Biodiesel Market to the Southwest (PR
Southern States Power Company announced today that two major Southwestern
cities are employing a natural solution to tame the exhaust stacks that
spew those darks clouds of diesel soot.
- May 23 10:16 AM ET
Mountain Wind Farm Flips Switch (PR Newswire)
The gusty wind was drying the season's first hay crop near the old coal
drag line at the Decker Farm in Garrett Pennsylvania on Saturday.
- May 22 5:26 PM ET
States Power Company Highlighted at the United States Department Of Energy
6th Annual National Clean Cities Conference (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company announced today that they were highlighted
at the 6th Annual National Clean Cities Conference and Exposition held in
San Diego, California May 7-10, 2000.
- May 11 12:02 PM ET
Country Run to 'Tour De Sol' Planned in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Using
Southern States Power Co. OXy G B-60 Biodiesel Fuel (PR
Southern States Power Company announced today it will be donating biodiesel
fuel to the Deer Valley High School ERAD Club for use in a hybrid electric
- May 02 11:57 AM ET
Somebody Say French Fry Oil in My Diesel Engine?; SSPC's Biodiesel
Can Give You a Higher Cetane Diesel Fuel That Makes Your Vehicle Exhaust
Smell Like French Fries Instead of Diesel Fumes (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company announced today that the Biodiesel
fuel it is now marketing under the trade name "OXy G B-60" has
higher cetane rating than regular diesel, making it a new grade of
"premium" diesel that leads to increased power and better
performance from diesel engines.
- Apr 25 11:15 AM ET
States Power Company Assists and Supports Arizona Legislature in The
Passage of Alternative Fuel Bill (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company announced today that the Arizona Legislature
has passed Senate Bill 1505, which creates a new category of alternative
fuels entitled "Clean Burning Fuels".
- Apr 19 10:00 AM ET
Union of Concerned Scientists Agree On Importance of Environmental Impact
in New Car Design (PR Newswire)
Volvo will be at the "birthplace" of Earth Day on April 22 to
showcase new vehicles built to the strict standards of its groundbreaking
Environmental Priorities System.
- Apr 19 9:07 AM ET
States Power Company Captures the First and Largest 21st Century Biodiesel
Bid in the U.S. (PR Newswire)
Southern States Power Company announced today that the company captured
the first and largest 21st century Biodiesel bid in the U.S.
- Apr 10 3:51 PM ET
Diesel Motor Cycles and ATV's