Food as Biofuels
Introduction to Food Science (SEC. 061)
An Overview of the Presentation
• What are Biofuels
• Classifications – Generations of Biofuels
• Sugarcane as Biofuel
• Maize as Biofuel
• Rice as Biofuel
• Mustard as Biofuel
• Jatropha as Biofuel
• Castor Biodiesel
• Positives of Biofuel – Global benefits
• Disadvantages of Biofuels
• Biofuels and Food security
• Discussion and Conclusion
With the advert of the Industrial Revolution, the use
of energy in the form of fossil fuels began, this
occurred in stages, from the exploration of coal
deposits to the exploitation of oil and natural gas
But, how long can we depend on this declining fossil
fuels to run our car engine, to light our kitchen stove
?? .. Not long that's for sure !!
Why Biofuels ?? Are They Green???
Use of Biofuels makes the environment clean:
• by regulating carbon dioxide rates in the environment
• by maintaining carbon cycle
• by making a way to reduce global warming
For example, a crop of plants
used to produce a barrel of
biofuel will absorb exactly the
same amount of carbon dioxide
as emitted from burning the
What are Biofuels ?
•Biofuels are fossil fuel substitutes that can be made from a range of
agricultural crops and other sources of biomass.
•Any hydrocarbon fuel that is produced from organic matter (living or
once living material) in a short period of time – days, weeks, or even
months, is considered as biofuel.
•They are considered as an alternative source of energy
1. Energy security - increasing oil prices, need for alternative source of
2. To decrease greenhouse gas emission
3. To promote rural development
FIRST GENERATION BIOFUEL
• Biofuel made from sugar,
starchy crops, vegetable oil or
animal fat using conventional
• The starch from the basic
feedstock's is fermented into
Bioethanol, or the vegetable
oil through chemical process
Sugarcane is one of the most
efficient photosynthesizers in the
plant kingdom, able to convert up
to 20% of incident solar energy into
Alcohol made by fermentation – mostly
from carbohydrates produced in
-Corn/Sugarcane and cellulose biomass
-- used as fuel in its pure form
---high Octane number – leads to
increase of an engines compression
ratio for increased thermal efficiency.
Preferred over Ethanol – better
mixed with Biodiesel.
But TOXIC !
Ethanol from corn !
Source: Enzyme Use for Corn Fuel Ethanol Production, Novozymes, July 2007
•Rice bran is a byproduct obtained
during milling to produce polished
•Considered as a waste
•Obtained from outer layer of the
brown rice – Husk
Rice bran for production of Biofuel
Bioethanol Production from Rice straw – Popping pretreatment Method
•Bioethanol produced from first generation biomass – sugarcane, wheat and corn
have significant impact on food prices and food security.
•Alternative sugar source – Lignocellulosic biomass (Second generation)
•Rice straw – abundant Lignocellulosic waste material
•Rice straw production amounts to approx. 731 million tons per year globally
•Therefore considered as largest biomass feedstocks, and potentially 730 billion
liters of Bioethanol can be produced per year (estimated)
How it works ?
Rice straw consists of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Because cellulose is
embedded in a lignin matrix, pretreatment of the lignocellulosic material is
needed to enhance the conversion of cellulose to glucose .
- Popping pretreatment Method
Popping pretreatment :
This method is similar to water impregnated steam explosion method,
which combines mechanical forces of the sudden explosion with
chemical effects from hydrolysis in high temperature to obtain
Ethanol from the biomass
Key Advantages over other processes
•Low environment impact
•High saccharification efficiency
•Other techniques like the use of Enzymes, ball milling, steam explosion, acid
alkali lime and wet oxidation - are slow in action and have high production cost
Transesterification Reaction , also called as Alcoholysis is the displacement
of alcohol from an ester by another alcohol in a process similar to hydrolysis
except that an Alcohol is used instead of water.
This process is used to prepare Bio-diesel from mustard oil
It is the process of using an alcohol – Methanol / Ethanol / Butanol, in the
presence of a catalyst – NaOH / KOH, to break the molecule of
the oil chemically in to methyl or ethyl esters, with Glycerol as a byproduct.
Mustard Oil Bio-diesel
Biodiesel is an ester based oxygenated fuel derived from natural, renewable
biological sources like vegetable oil ( Mustard oil)
Biodiesel operates in compression ignition engines like petroleum diesel thereby
requiring no essential engine modification.
Unlike fossil diesel, pure biodiesel is biodegradable, non-toxic and essentially free of
sulphur and aromatics.
They are made by the Transesterification of vegetable oils
•In the US, soybeans provide the most common feedstock
•In Europe, rapeseed [canola] provides the most common feedstock
Other Common Feedstock's
•Sunflower oil is commonly used in France and Eastern Europe
•Palm Oil is common in Malaysia
•Used cooking oil is quickly becoming a common feedstock
•Plants that can thrive under adverse conditions: Jatropha curcas
•Hydroxylated Fatty Acid Triglycerides: Castor Oil and Lesquerella Oil
•Short-chain Fatty Acid Triglycerides: Cuphea Viscosissima
•Microalgae that produce Lipids
• Grows as a tree that produces fruit with oil-bearing seed
• Not eaten by animals and is a vigorous, drought and pest resistant plant
• Low cost and high yielding
- 40-60 g oil/100 g seed kernels
- Grown in many places
• Methyl esters from Jatropha oil meet the standards for biodiesel
•Jatropha oil is hydroscopic - absorbs water
and needs nitrogen blanketing on steel tanks
so that exposure to air and moisture will be
•Right from the time of expelling, the oil
needs to be kept in storage conditions that
prevent undue degradation.
•Jatropha high in acid, therefore tendency to
degrade quickly, particularly if not handled
properly through the supply chain.
• 48% of seed is oil
• High uniformity and consistency as a natural material
• 90% Hydroxylated fatty acids
• Allergens not present in oil
• High yielding, as much as 350-650 kg oil /hectare
• Requires moderate rainfall and can withstand long
periods of drought
• Uncomplicated crop that requires little attention
•24% of seed is oil
•60% Hydroxylated fatty acids
•Gum with high value produced with oil
• Castor oil (food grade) is used in food additives, flavorings, and candy
• Esters are important ingredients in various cosmetics.
• Increased lubricity at low levels (<1%) may provide an effective
lubricity enhancer for low sulfur diesel fuels.
• Castor FAME [Fatty Acid Methyl Esters] products can act as cold
flow improver additives for biodiesel
• Low volume, high value markets.
Global Benefits of Biofuels
• Help small farmers
• More income for 500 million smallholders
• Impact not immediate but enormous over time
• Keeping Energy prices down
• Biofuels provide 50% of increase in non-OPEC oil supply
• Biofuels keeps crude oil price from rising by 15%
Industrial and Government Motivation
• Increased use of Biofuels will decrease petrol and diesel
• Operators use clean fuel with less health problems.
• Transport engines need little or no modifications.
• Clean technology
• Links agriculture to energy
• Energy Independence gives strength to countries
• Fuel standards for use of renewable energy
• Incentives for alternate and clean fuel
• Biodiesel meets international standards for clean Sulfur
Vehicular use and Manufacturer Acceptance
• In 2007 , McDonalds of UK announced
that it would start producing Biodiesel
from the waste oil byproducts of its
restaurants. The fuel will be used to run its
• Railway usage – in 2007 Disneyland began
running the park trains on B98 Biodiesel
blends (98% Biodiesel).
• Virgin Boeing 747 jumbo jet
• The plane used a biofuel blend of Babassu oil –
extracted from the nuts of babassu tree , and
• Both products are more commonly found in
cosmetics – lip balm and shaving cream.
• The Czechoslovakian-made aircraft is rated to fly
on a variety of fuels including heating oil, making
it the preferred platform for testing Biodiesel in jet
• Poorly made Biofuel can cause engine problems – cause nitrogen oxide
• Transportation and storage requires special managements – cause increase in
• Biodiesel is less suitable for use in low-temperatures than petro-diesel
• Slightly more expensive to produce (production cost high on large scale)
• Some countries have limited water sources (cultivation)
• A suitable climate is needed to grow most crops.
• Crops grown for biodiesel use land for food crops.
A NEW DILEMMA IN FOOD SECURITY
Biofuels and Food security
• Have Biofuels really
caused the food crisis ?
• Should we support
The question ….
Myth in the Media
• Biofuels compete directly with food for land
• We must choose between food and fuel
• MISLEADING Facts
• If Oil prices remain high,
BIOFUELS WILL BE HERE TO STAY
How can we support Biofuels?
• Grow Biofuels without harming the environment or displacing food crop
• Explore more waste lands (non-cultivate lands) – Jatropha capable of
growing in harsh environment.
• Commercialize Second and Future /Third Generation Biofuels – from
Cellulose and Algae (Non-food source)
Cellulose biofuel Technologies – can use Agricultural waste or Biomass
Algae biofuel Technologies – No exploitation of land,
30 times more energy yield.
A.K Azad, S.M Ameer Uddin and M.M Alam, Global advanced research journal of engineering, ‘Mustard oil,
an alternative fuel: an experimental investigation’, Dhaka , June 14-2012.
Retrieved from http://garj.org/garjeti/pdf/2012/June/Azad%20et%20al.pdf
Bruce A. Babcock, Center for agriculture and rural development CARD, ‘ Breaking the link between food and
biofuels ‘ Vol.14 No.3, Retrieved from http://www.card.iastate.edu/iowa_ag_review/summer_08/article1.aspx
Biotechnology for Biofuels, ‘Bioethanol production form rice straw by popping pretreatment’ ISAF 2013.
Retrieved from http://www.biotechnologyforbiofuels.com/content/6/1/166
Discovery News ‘ Top 10 sources of Biofuel’ Online article, December 12, 2012. Retrieved from
howstuffworks? ‘ Do Biofuels compete with food ‘ Online article. Retrieved from