• Developments, Diesel Issues:
• New diesel fuel standards (low sulfur diesel)
• New diesel burns cleaner (good)
• Lubricity is reduced (bad)
• Retail diesel prices have increased
• Demand has been growing
• Refining capacity is strained
• Transportation capacity is strained
• Higher fuel quality standards
Chemistry of Triglycerides
• Biodiesel is made from the combination of a triglyceride with a monohydroxy
alcohol (i.e. methanol, ethanol…).
• What is a triglyceride? Made from a combination of glycerol and three fatty
What is Biodiesel?
• Alternative fuel for diesel engines
• Made from vegetable oil or animal fat
• Meets health effect testing (CAA)
• Lower emissions, High flash point (>300F), Safer
• Biodegradable, Essentially non-toxic.
• Chemically, biodiesel molecules are mono-alkyl esters
produced usually from triglyceride esters
CH2OOR1 catalyst CH2OH
CHOOR2 + 3CH3OH 3CH3OORx + CHOH
Triglyceride 3 Methanols Biodiesel Glycerin
R1, R2, and R3 are fatty acid alkyl groups (could be different, or the
same), and depend on the type of oil. The fatty acids involved
determine the final properties of the biodiesel (cetane number, cold
flow properties, etc.)
20 May, 2006 2006 Eastern Biofuel Conference
SEPARATION OF PHASES
RAW MATERIAL PRE-TREATMENT
Block Diagram of Industrial Process
After Glycerin removal, biodiesel now needs to be
cleaned/purified before use:
Blends of up to 20% biodiesel (mixed with petroleum
diesel fuels) can be used in nearly all diesel
equipment and are compatible with most storage and
These low level blends (20% and less) don't require
any engine modifications and can provide the same
payload capacity and as diesel. Users should consult
their engine warranty statement. Transportation and
storage, however, require special management.
Material compatibility and warrantee issues haven't
been resolved with higher blends.
The use of biodiesel decreases the solid carbon fraction of
particulate matter (since the oxygen in biodiesel enables more
complete combustion to CO2) and reduces the sulfate fraction
(biodiesel contains less than 24 ppm sulfur), while the soluble,
or hydrocarbon, fraction stays the same or increases.
Therefore, biodiesel works well with new technologies such as
diesel oxidation catalysts (which reduce the soluble fraction of
diesel particulate but not the solid carbon fraction).
Emissions of nitrogen oxides increase with the concentration of
biodiesel in the fuel. Some biodiesel produces more nitrogen
oxides than others, and some additives have shown promise in
modifying the increases. More R&D is needed to resolve this
Challenges for biodiesel
• Uses vegetable oils
and animal fats as
• The reaction of a fat or
oil with an alcohol to
form esters (biodiesel)
• Should be stored 5-10
degrees F above cloud
• Expensive feed stocks
• Strict standards for
• NOx emissions
• Transportation and
Challenges for biodiesel:
Increase yields on the oil-seeds production
A real multi-feedstock biodiesel production,
regarding all the aspects, not only the technical
Establish of quality standards of different raw
Development of analytical methods for the quality
control of the process and the products.
• Pre-Reaction Equipment
• Oil Storage Tank
• Alcohol Storage Tank
• Catalyst Storage
• Biodiesel “Reactor”
• Pumps, Filters, Plumbing
• Crude Glycerin
• No Ready Market for Crude Glycerin
• Quantity produced is 10% to 20% of
• Contains Methanol & Catalyst
• Possible Uses:
• Fuel Oil
• Refine to Pharmaceutical Grade
Jatropha: The seeds of a plant called jatropha (Jatropha
curcas / ratanjyot in Hindi) and pongamia (Pongamia
pinnata; karanj in Hindi) yield oil that, after processing,
makes biodiesel. The system of production is simple. Oil
is extracted and put through a process called
transesterification (to convert it to fatty acid esters, the
chemical description of biodiesel, by incubation with
alcohol and alkali); this makes it a suitable blend for
petroleum-derived diesel. The jatropha blend reduces
greenhouse gas emission by half.
Preparation of biodiesel from crude oil of
Karmee S K, Chadha A. ( I I T MADRAS)
Biodiesel prepared from the oil of Pongamia
pinnata with methanol in the presence of KOH
as catalyst. A conversion of 92% (oil to ester)
was achieved using a 1:10 molar ratio of oil to
methanol at 60 degrees C.
Tetrahydrofuran (THF), when used as a co-
solvent increased the conversion to 95%.
Continued Preparation of biodiesel from crude oil of
Pongamia pinnata. Karmee S K, Chadha A. ( I I T MADRAS)
Solid acid catalysts viz. H beta-Zeolite,
Montmorillonite K-10 and ZnO were also used
for this transesterification.
Important fuel properties of methyl esters of
Pongamia oil (Biodiesel) compare well
(Viscosity = 4.8 Cst @ 40 degrees C and Flash
point = 150 degrees C) with ASTM and German
In India, the price of bio-diesel was regulated by the
petroleum ministry, which used the retail price of diesel
for its calculation. It was sold at about Rs.30 a litre.
India met just 23% of petro demand through domestic
production while the rest was met from imported crude.
India’s oil import dependency is projected to rise to 93
% by 2030. The Government of India approved a
National Policy on Biofuels in September 2008, setting
an indicative target to raise blending of biodiesel with
diesel to 20 % by 2017 and scrapping taxes and duties
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