Tag Archives: Biofuel

What is Biodiesel? And why use it.

Biodiesel is considered as an environmental friendly fuel. Biodiesel is made of vegetable oil, waste cooking oil/restaurant greeze, animal oils and fats and tallow. Best sources are rapeseed, soybean and palm oil, but most biodiesel is produced from waste vegetable oils. The agricultural produced oil is under development because the process is still expensive.

The benefits of biodiesel is that it does not release any carbon dioxide, it is biodegradable, clean-burning and non-toxic. Biodiesel has better lubricating properties and much higher cetane ratings (measurment of quality), than classical diesel.

Biodiesel is mostly used in standard diesel engines and is thus distinct from the vegetable and waste oils used to fuel converted diesel engines. Biodiesel can be used alone or blended with petrodiesel. Can be used by vechicles, trains, aircraft, heating oil, clean oil spills and in generators. Biodiesel is a great solution to reduce petroleum dependence and improve the environment.

The technology is not new as transesterification of a vegetable oil was conducted as early as 1853 by Patrick Duffy.

White_Hilum_Soybeans images1
Sources to Biodiesel: soybeans and rapeseed

Green Energy: Biomass

Biomass as a renewable energy source, is biological material from living, or recently living organisms. As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly, or converted into other energy products such as biofuel.

1) Biomass is plant matter used to generate electricity with steam turbines & gasifiers or produce heat, usually by direct combustion. Examples include forest residues (such as dead trees, branches and tree stumps), yard clippings, wood chips and even municipal solid waste.

2) Biomass includes plant or animal matter that can be converted into fibers or other industrial chemicals, including biofuels. Industrial biomass can be grown from numerous types of plants, including miscanthus, switchgrass, hemp, corn, poplar, willow, sorghum, sugarcane, bamboo, and a variety of tree species, ranging from eucalyptus to oil palm (palm oil).

.1Biomass power plant in Medan, North Sumatra

Biomass energy is derived from five distinct energy sources: garbage, wood, waste, landfill gases, and alcohol fuels. The largest source of energy from wood is pulping liquor or “black liquor”, a waste product from processes of the pulp, paper and paperboard industry. Waste energy is the second-largest source of biomass energy. The main contributors of waste energy are municipal solid waste, manufacturing waste, and landfill gas. Biomass can be converted to other usable forms of energy like methane gas or transportation fuels like ethanol and biodiesel. Rotting garbage, and agricultural and human waste, all release methane gas—also called “landfill gas” or “biogas.” Crops, such as corn and sugar cane, can be fermented to produce the transportation fuel, ethanol. Biodiesel, another transportation fuel, can be produced from left-over food products like vegetable oils and animal fats.

A biomass plant can be used by farms e.g. a 500 kW plant, or bigger up to several mW to provide e.g. cities with electricity.

If Biomass is environmental friendly are still under critical discussions. Biomass is a renuable source of energy.

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