Pure Plant Oil
Is this a superior biofuel?
Ben Murphy / Jamie Onslow
Elsbett AG and Verdant Fuel Ltd
5th November 2008
Principal criteria for Biofuels
• Significant well-to-wheel CO2 reduction
• Environmental sustainability
• Social sustainability
• Worthwhile volumes
How do the main biofuels measure up?
Well-to-wheel CO2 savings
Source: RFA May / June monthly report 2008
Most of the volume is in low CO2 performance feedstock
Source: RFA May / June monthly report 2008
Environmental and social sustainability
• Less than 30% of biofuels are meeting environmental standards. This may
improve but the high proportion of soy feedstock creates the potential for
destructive tropical land use change.
• Long supply chains, especially from beyond Europe, will make
environmental monitoring more difficult.
• Social impacts are hard to judge but tropical cultivation associated with land
use change has potential to create social concerns.
• Soy oil yields per hectare are relatively low so larger areas are required for
the same quantity of fuel.
• Biofuels are similar to renewable power in that no single source can replace
all our fossil fuel use. But diversification of different energy sources creates
its own security.
• Biofuel feedstocks are finite and cannot fully replace fossil fuels.
Scarce biofuel feedstocks should be used
in the most CO2 efficient way.
Modify the oil
But Transesterification has a
To suit the engine
footprint of 470 grms CO2e per litre
Modify the engine to suit the plant oil
• No chemical processing • The CO2e of the
conversion is recovered
• No additives
within 70 litres of fuel
VPO – virgin plant oil
Rapeseed Oil Fuel Standard
V DIN 51 605
Unused pure plant oil Parameter Method Specification Unit
DIN EN ISO
Density (15°C) 900-930 kg/m3
• Pure natural oil – no additives DIN EN ISO
Flash point min. 220 °C
DIN EN ISO
Kin. viscosity(40°C) max. 36 mm2/s
• Rapeseed is preferred 3104
Calorific value, lower DIN 51 900-2 min. 36000 kJ/kg
Cetane number IP 498 min. 39 -
• Sunflower, Jatropha are also good DIN EN ISO
Carbon residue max. 0.40 %(m/m)
Iodine value DIN EN 14111 95-125 g Iodine/100g
• Soy oil causes engine damage long term DIN EN ISO
Sulphur content max. 10 mg/kg
• Recycled UCO (cooking oil) is not suitable Total contaminates DIN EN 12662 max. 24 mg/kg
Acid value DIN EN 14104 max. 2 mg KOH/g
DIN EN 14112 min. 6 h
• DIN 51605 is the minimum spec 110°C
Phosphorus content DIN EN 14107 max. 12 mg/kg
Earth alkali (Ca+Mg) E DIN EN 14538 max. 20 mg/kg
DIN EN ISO
Ash content max. 0.01 %(m/m)
DIN EN ISO
Water content max 750 mg/kg
VPO - UK farm produced fuel CO2 savings
Rapeoil 0.87 kgs CO2e/litre
Diesel 3.1 kgs CO2e/litre 17%
Rapeoil 72% saving
• Assessed by leading
Energy in NOx
• Based on real farm data and from
How does VPO compare for CO2 savings?
RFA monthly reports May/June
• CO2 savings can be doubled by using VPO instead of rapeseed biodiesel
• VPO offers larger volumes and more reliable supply than waste feedstocks
Blended Biodiesel or VPO?
A truck running on biodiesel
A truck running on VPO
• 40,000 litres of fuel with 90% • 40,000 litres of fuel = 2,000 litres of
VPO = 36,000 litres biodiesel.
• 36,000 litres of VPO saving 2.25 • 2,000 litres of biodiesel saving 1.25
Kg CO2e / litre = Kg CO2e / litre =
2.5 Mt CO2
81 Mt CO2
VPO is guaranteed to contain
no palm oil or soy oil and no
Historical background to VPO
•Plant oil diesel engines since 1973
Agriculture,and peanut oil
Rudolf Diesel cars
Passenger Construction and heavy plant
• Several of tractors, earthmoving
••Approximately 2000cars worldwideequipment
Hundreds thousand converted HGVs and vans
The famous Elsbett engine
• The modern diesel engine is developed for EN590
• 2 The systems
• Gensets first small diesel engine
• Over 100 million kms annually
• Even boats unique one tank system
• Elsbett’s and trainson new trucks
• 1.4 litre,warranty
Insured 3 cyl, Tdi
• Rapid improvements in emissions limits and diesel engine performance are
• Ultra-lowcompliant cars
• CompareCO2 Elsbett
Euro V this to today’s VW Polo Blue Motion
based on EN590.
• Running on Verdant fuel multifuel
• The Elsbett engine was
• Insured warranty for new cars
• Many thousands of diesel engines converted to run on
• OEM standards of reliability on a different fuel cannot be achieved without
years of operating experience and world class engine design expertise.
• Elsbett continues to develop pioneering technology.
40 grms (net) / km
VW Polo with Elsbett Technology and VPO
• Single tank technology no
King Report compare with
How does this
an electric car?
Official TÜV emissions tests
• Electric vehicle
emissions depend on Euro IV
••For COyr insured warranty
CO2e 50 grms net / km
• Range of 30grms /
••Whatmile range; multi-fuel
to is the / km
analysis of an electric car?
• Price similar to Polo Blue Motion
VPO – Environmental impact
• Rapeseed is not grown in tropical regions. It does not contribute to deforestation.
VPO – Environmental and social impact
• Rapeseed is grown in rotation with cereals as part of the
normal agricultural rotation
• Typical rotation is 1 year in 4.
• Rapeseed does require fertiliser but this is accounted for
in the well-to-wheel CO2e impact
• Rapeseed as a break crop helps to control weeds and
restore cereal yields
• Consecutive wheat cultivation loses about 10%
yield per year. Yields can be maintained with more
fertiliser which create more NOx emissions.
• Approximately 80% of the plant remains in the soil and
restores organic content.
• In a sustainable rotation with cereals, rapeseed helps to
maintain long term food yields.
VPO – the food vs fuel debate
• Rapeseed is not an essential food. People do not starve for the lack
of rapeseed oil.
• Are we growing rapeseed where we could grow food? Rapeseed in
sensible agricultural rotation helps maintain cereal food yields in the
• 1 litre of rapeseed also produces 2kg of animal feed which helps
= food production.
• Using rapeseed for fuel does not materially increase demand for
other plant oils. Rapeseed is generally more expensive than other
plant oils so these have already substituted for rapeseed where this is
• In Europe, approximately 60% of rapeseed oil goes for biodiesel.
Oil for food is not restricted by supply.
Fried fish and chips or grilled fish, mashed potatoes
and some transport fuel.
VPO engine performance
• VPO has lower calorific value
Calorific value / litre
• But the oxygen in the VPO
molecule leads to better Diesel 35.7 MJ 100%
combustion which compensates.
VPO 34.3 MJ 96%
• Independent tests between diesel
Biodiesel 32.8 MJ 92%
and VPO with Elsbett Technology
show no statistically significant
difference in fuel consumption.
• Vehicle operators report no
noticeable difference in engine
VPO impact on emissions
Emissions are a function of Elsbett Technology and VPO fuel
• Independent emissions tests have been conducted by
and other reputable institutes in Europe.
• The tests show consistent results. VPO achieves:
• Reduced HC emissions
• Reduced CO emissions
• Significant reduction in PM10 50%
• Elsbett technology can manage NOx emissions within Euro V for trucks.
Available volumes of VPO
• Current German VPO market is approx 650 million litres / yr
• More than half the UK annual biodiesel market
• 300 million litres / yr of rapeseed oil are used in UK biodiesel
• This would save an extra 140,000 tonnes of CO2 if used as VPO
• It would provide enough VPO for 150,000 cars or 8,000 HGVs
VPO can make a significant contribution to UK targets
The technology is available now
But it requires a level playing field with biodiesel
Taxation regime for transport fuel
UK tax on CO2
Why is VPO overtaxed and LPG undertaxed?
tax p/kg CO2
biodiesel LPG VPO ULS Diesel
How much is the net subsidy on VPO?
VPO subsidy as a fuel:
Full diesel tax = 50.35p plus VAT = 59.2p / litre
VPO fuel tax = 30.35p plus VAT = 35.7p / litre
Fuel subsidy = 23.5p / litre
Rapeseed oil subsidy as food:
Price per litre 1.17p per litre (Tesco 20 Sep 2008)
Subsidy = VAT exemption = 20.5p / litre
Tax penalty on VPO as a fuel vs food= 35.7p / litre
The net subsidy on VPO as fuel = 3p / litre
VPO in summary
• VPO has a high CO2 performance
•Worthwhile quantities are available
• VPO has a good environmental position
• VPO avoids creating social concerns
There is no incentive for the CO2 performance and the net
subsidy is negligible.