In order to avoid the use of fossil fuels that increase global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions, more and more research and development of other types of alternative energy sources is being carried out, such as renewable energies such as we know them. There are many types of renewable energy: solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, biomass, etc. Energy from biofuels, such as biodiesel, is a renewable energy source obtained from organic matter that can replace fossil fuels.
Biodiesel or fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) can be produced from a variety of oils and fats through an esterification process, including rapeseed and sunflower, soybeans and nuts on the one hand, and oils and fats used by other. The process begins by extracting oil from oily plants. Do you want to know more about biodiesel? Here we explain everything to you.
Table of Contents
Importance of biofuels
Since the industrial revolution, humanity has been supporting and promoting science and technology with energy derived from fossil fuels. They are oil, coal and natural gas. Although the efficiency and energy of these energies are high, these fuels are limited and running out at an accelerating rate. In addition, the use of these fuels will produce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, thus retaining more heat in the atmosphere and causing global warming and climate change.
For these reasons, people are trying to find alternative energy sources to help alleviate the problems associated with using fossil fuels. In this case, biofuels are considered a renewable energy source because they are produced from biomass of plant matter. Plant biomass, unlike oil, does not take millions of years to producerather, it does so on a human-controllable scale. Biofuels are also often produced from crops that can be replanted. Among biofuels we have ethanol and biodiesel.
What is biodiesel
Biodiesel is another type of biofuel, made from new and used vegetable oils and some animal fats. Since many people start to produce their own fuel at home to avoid spending too much on refueling, biodiesel has become very famous and has spread all over the world.
Biodiesel can be used in many diesel-powered vehicles without much engine modification. However, older diesel engines may require some overhaul to process the biodiesel. In recent years, a small biodiesel industry has emerged in the United States and some service stations have already provided biodiesel.
How biodiesel is formed
The process begins with the extraction of oil from oleaginous plants. After refining, the oil is transesterified into FAME or biodiesel by adding methanol and catalyst. Due to its characteristics very similar to diesel fuel, biodiesel can be used in high-performance diesel engines. In addition, in addition to its advantages as a liquid fuel, it can also be used for the production of heat and energy. The fact that this fuel does not contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons allows it to be stored and transported without obvious risks. Because it comes from vegetable oils and animal fats, it is a renewable and biodegradable source of energy.
Biodiesel can be mixed with fossil diesel in different proportions without major engine changes. However, it is not recommended to use a mixture of a small amount of diesel without changing the characteristics of the engine, as its performance cannot be guaranteed based on the research carried out so far.
On the other hand, biodiesel has excellent lubricating properties as it is an oxygenated fuelTherefore, in a small proportion, it can improve the performance of diesel fuel, surpassing even the benefits of sulfur. It is similar to something that prolongs the shelf life. The complete process for obtaining biodiesel is Management both in quantitative and energy terms.
Compared to the conventional performance of fossil diesel fuel, one of the disadvantages of using biodiesel is the reduced power. The energy content of biodiesel is low. In general, a liter of diesel contains 9.300 kcal of energy, while the same amount of biodiesel contains only 8.600 kcal of energy. In this way, more biodiesel is needed to obtain the same power as with diesel.
On the other hand, an important characteristic to consider is the cetane number, which must be greater than 40 to function properly. The high cetane fuel allows the engine to start quickly and easily and warm up at low temperatures without misfires. Biodiesel has a cetane number similar to diesel, so it can be used in the same engine without causing major inconveniences.
Another issue to consider when talking about fuels is their impact on the environment and the possible related impacts that can be transmitted to society. In this case, it can be said that the use of biodiesel as a substitute or component of a diesel-biodiesel mixture It can reduce polluting gases emitted into the atmosphere, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) or carbon dioxide (CO2). The following table shows the reduction percentage of pure diesel.
- Compared to diesel of fossil origin, Biodiesel has ecological advantages because it reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
- Compared to petroleum diesel, the net carbon monoxide is reduced by 78%.
- When biodiesel is added to traditional diesel fuel, even in a blend of less than 1%, the lubricity of petroleum diesel fuel can be significantly improved.
- It is a harmless fuel for the environment.
- It is made from renewable raw materials.
- It contains almost no sulfur. Avoid SOx emissions (acid rain or greenhouse effect).
- Improve combustion and significantly reduce smoke and dust emissions (up to almost 55%, eliminating black smoke and unpleasant odors).
- It produces less carbon dioxide during the combustion process than the carbon dioxide absorbed by plant growth (closed carbon dioxide cycle).
The loser of this information can learn more about this type of biofuel its characteristics.