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About Bio-diesel
Bio-diesel is a liquid fuel made up of fatty acid alkyl esters, fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), or long-chain mono alkyl esters. It is produced from renewable sources such as new and used vegetable oils and animal fats and is a cleaner-burning replacement for petroleum-based diesel fuel. It is nontoxic and biodegradable. Biodiesel has physical properties similar to those of petroleum diesel.
Like petroleum diesel, bio-diesel is used to fuel compression-ignition (diesel) engines.
Bio-diesel production
Bio-diesel can be made from new or used vegetable oils and animal fats, which are nontoxic, biodegradable, and renewable. Fats and oils are chemically reacted with an alcohol (methanol is most commonly used) to produce chemical compounds known as fatty acid methyl esters. Bio-diesel is the name given to these esters when they are intended for use as fuel. Glycerin (used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, among other markets) is produced as a co-product. Bio-diesel can be produced using a variety of trans-esterification technologies. The oils and fats are filtered and preprocessed to remove water and contaminants. If free fatty acids are present, they can be removed or transformed into bio-diesel using special pretreatment technologies. The pretreated oils and fats are then mixed with an alcohol (usually methanol) and a catalyst (usually sodium hydroxide). The oil molecules (triglycerides) are broken apart and reformed into methyl esters and glycerin, which are then separated from each other and purified.
Diesel engines are expensive, and it is not worth risking damage or even minor operational problems from fuel that does not meet rigorous BIS/EN/ASTM specifications.
The raw/straight vegetable oils (triglycerides) can not be in a diesel engine because they are much more viscous than bio-diesel, Even the lowlevel vegetable oil blends can cause long-term engine deposits, ring sticking, lube oil gelling, and other maintenance problems that can reduce engine life.
National Mission of Bio-diesel
In April 2003, the committee on development of Bio-fuel, under the auspices of the Planning Commission of India, presented its report that recommends a major multidimensional programme to replace 20% of diesel by Bio-diesel, produced mainly from non-edible Jatropha oil, a smaller part from Pongomia. This is target has to be achieved by the year 2013.
To achieve this eleven millions hectares of presently unused lands are to be cultivated with Jatropha across the country.
Announcements and discussion of Biodiesel program have already now brought numerous institutions, private investors and some farmers to prepare and even start with work on a major Jatropha program. The move towards large-scale utilization of Jatropha is thus mainly coming from the energy discussion, with its increasing environmental and health burden and foreign exchange cost. In March 2004 a first portion for a National Program on Jatropha was released with RS. 800 crore to support cultivation of Jatropha on new fields and plantations of 2,00.000 hectares. This is the first portion of a total program approved with Rs. 1.500 Core and 400.000 hectares, to be realized within five years. The program was intended to replace 5% of diesel consumption by 2006 with 2.6 Million tons of Jatropha based biodiesel produced on 2.2 Million hectares, based on yields expected by the Government.
Jatropha curcas is considered most Suitable since it uses lands, which are largely unproductive. To plant Jatropha over 11 Million hectares, the program is to become a “National Mission”.
The National Mission on Bio-diesel, is therefore proposed in two phases.
Phase I consisting of a Demonstration Project to be implemented by the year 2006-07 with an investment of Rs. 1500 crore on 4,00,000 hectares.
As a follow up of the Demonstration Project, Phase II will consist of a self sustaining expansion of the programme beginning in the year 2007 leading to production of Biodiesel required in the year 2011-12.
Many states have already undertaken Biodiesel initiatives in their own ways. States like Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttaranchal, Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh have already formed nodal agencies for Biofuel development and announced draft Biodiesel policies. Chhattisgarh has been pioneer in this programme.
On Oct. 09, 2005, MOP&NG, MOP & NG, Government of India announced the Biodiesel Purchase Policy & the existing cost of Bio-diesel is Rs. 26.50/lit. Infrastructure for storing, blending & testing at 20 collection centers across the country is already created by the oil PSUs in line with the policy.
Rationale for the Program
India is sixth in the world in energy demand accounting for 3.5% of world commercial energy consumption and diesel is predominantly consumed for most of the transportation fuel. The transport sector is the most problematic as no realistic alternatives have been found so far.
In India, a larger share than in other countries is needed for transport purposes, in particular diesel has major share (65% for transport). Consumption is expected to rise at an annual 5.6% rate. Domestic supply can presently satisfy 22% of demand and dependence on crude oil imports is increasing. There is a growing demand gap between production and consumption. Indian crude oil reserves are expected to last for another 30 years plus. Rising and volatile prices and respective foreign exchange costs are one of the main risk factors of the Indian economic and social development prospects.
Bio-energy, as a replacement for transport fuel can be alcohol, or biodiesel. Bio-fuels are to reduce negative environmental effects through lower emissions and climatic impacts. Local production of bio energy is projected to have a broad range of positive economic, social and environmental implications. Upgrading eroded and deforested land, creation of employment and income is part of the argument. The national program wants to stop soil and forest degradation and its environmental implications, generate employment for the poor, in particular for women, reduce climatic change and improve energy security.
Bio-diesel is considered an equal replacement of diesel which can be made after trans-esterification of virgin or used vegetable oils (both edible or non-edible). It is meant to be produced in India mainly from Jatropha curcas and, to a extent, from other non-edible virgin oils (in particular Karanj or Pongamia pinnata). It requires little or no engine modification up to 20% blend.
Compared to diesel, using bio-diesel substantially reduces emissions of unburned hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and particulate matter (PM). The reductions increase as the amount of bio-diesel blended into diesel fuel increases. B100 provides the best emission reductions, but lower-level blends also provide benefits. B20 has been shown to reduce PM emissions 10%, CO 11%, and unburned HC 21%. Learn more about Bio-diesel Emissions.
Bio-diesel also reduces greenhouse gas emissions because carbon dioxide released from bio-diesel combustion is offset by the carbon dioxide sequestered while growing the Jatropha or other feedstock.. B100 use reduces carbon dioxide emissions by more than 75% compared with petroleum diesel.
Its higher Cetane number improves the combustion quality. As a byproduct the oil cake and glycerol can be sold to match the Diesel price. The sales cost of bio-diesel is expected to be very close to the cost of oil obtained for production, since the cost of transesterification is meant to be recoverable to a great extent from the income of oil cake (3-5 Rupees/kg) and glycerol (50Rs/kg.).
Impact on Emissions from tailpipes of vehicles
Demand & Supply of Ethanol & Bio-diesel
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