Producing Biodiesel in the UK and it's impact on farming.


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A poster showing the area needed to generate 10% biodiesel by 2020, with uses for waste glycerol and straw. With how this equates to using biodiesel from other sources, such as palm oil.

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Producing Biodiesel in the UK and it's impact on farming.

  1. 1. The Impact of Producing 10% Biodiesel in the UK for 2020<br />The UK has signed up to the EU Biofuels Directive 2003/30/EC1. This<br />stipulates that 10% of all transportation fuels must be derived from<br />renewable sources. For this presentation the use of biodiesel derived from<br />rapeseed was chosen as a replacement for diesel.<br />2020 Fuel Consumption<br />It is important to predict the amount of diesel<br />that will be used in 2020. A graph was<br />constructed using data from Energy<br />consumption in the UK transport data tables<br />2010 update2. Assuming a business as usual<br />scenario, it can be seen that the use of diesel<br />will rise to 25 million tonnes of diesel a<br />year. Therefore 10% of this would be<br />2.5 million tonnes of biodiesel produced each<br />year.<br />Cultivated Area<br />The area of land that will have to be dedicated to<br />biodiesel is calculated below:<br />Rapeseed ha yr-1 = biodiesel t / yield biodiesel 3tha-1 yr-1<br /> = 2.5 x 106 / 1.19 t ha yr-1<br /> = 2.1 x 106 ha yr-1<br /> = 21,000 km2 yr-1<br />This is approximately 40% of all<br />5 million ha of agricultural land in<br />the UK4.<br />On a five year rotation this equates to 200% of the<br />agricultural land in the UK.<br />Waste Products<br />For every 1000 kg of biodiesel, 100 kg of glycerol is produced5. <br />This means that 250,000 tonnes of glycerol would be produced..<br />Glycerol has a calorific value of 19 MJ kg-1 this equates to 1,319 <br />GWh yr-1or 1.5% total electricity consumption in the UK.<br />Every hectare of oil seed rape produces 1.5 t6. This could be used to produce 275 L t-1 of bioethanol, that can be used in biodiesel production or as an additive in petrol vehicles. Using 40% of the agricultural land, to produce bioethanol from rape seed straw would fuel 4% of UK petrol vehicles.<br />Importing Biodiesel<br />Palm oil ha yr-1 = biodiesel T / yield biodiesel T ha-1 yr-1<br /> = 2.5 x 106 / 3.07 T ha-1 yr-1<br /> = 0.8 x 106 ha yr-1<br /> = 8,143 km2 yr-1<br />This is 1% of agricultural land in Brazil. This is because of the <br />increased yield from palms and also palm trees produce fruit <br />for 30 years7.<br />All UK Farm Land<br />40% UK<br />Farm Land<br />200% UK Farm Land = 5 Year Rotation<br />Reference List<br />1. Directive 2003/30/EC of the European Paliament and of the Council of 8 May<br />2003 on the promotion of the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels for<br />transport. Official Journal of the European Parliament L 123/42; May 2003.<br />2. DECC, 2010. [online] Energy consumption in the UK transport data tables 2010 update. Available at: [accessed 4 April 2011].<br />3. Thamsiriroj, T. Murphy, J., 2009. Is it better to import palm oil from Thailand to produce biodiesel in Ireland than to produce biodiesel from indigenous Irish rape seed? Applied energy. Vol. 86, pp. 595-604.<br />4. DEFRA, 2010. [online] Growing and crops. Available at: [accessed 8 April 2011].<br />5. Pachauri, N. He, B., 2006. Value-added utilization of crude glycerol from biodiesel production: A survey of current research activities. 2006 ASABE annual international meeting, Portland, Oregon.<br />6. Mathew, A. Chaney, K. Crook, M. Humphries, A., 2011. Dilute acid pre-treatment of oilseed rape straw for bioethanol production. Renewable energy. vol. 36, pp. 2424-2432.<br />7. Petersen, C. Hustrulid, T., 1998. Carbon cycle for rapeseed oil biodiesel fuels. Biomass and bioenergy. Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 91-101.<br />Daniel Wilson<br />