Sei sulla pagina 1di 17

BIODIESEL PRODUCTION : A FEASIBILITY

STUDY

BIODIESEL
A TRUE GREEN FUEL
TECHNICAL ASPECT

iodiesel is an ester derived from plant and/or animal oils that is use to
substitute or blend with diesel fuel. Biodiesel can thus be produced from the
oils of coconut, peanut, sunflower, palm, jatropha, soya, corn, wheat, canola,
algae, chicken, pork, beef, fish and many more. Peanut oil was the first oil
use by German Engineer Rudolf Diesel in his 1892 diesel engine invention.

To produce biodiesel from these oils, the fatty component called


glycerol has to be reacted-out and extracted from the oil component called
triglycerides through Transesterification Reaction. This reaction was first
done and patented by Swedish scientists Duffy and Patrick wayback 1853
when gasoline and diesel engines were not yet invented ( source : Grosser,
Morton (1978), Diesel: The Man and the Engine, New York: Atheneum, ISBN
978-0-689-30652-5; LCCN 78-006196 ). Thus we can see, that biodiesel is
older than its fossil fuel counterpart.

Biodiesel has physico-chemical attributes more potent than diesel


itself. Unlike diesel, it is non-toxic, biodegradable, renewable fuel,
environment friendly, has higher cetane number, fuel efficient ( Biofuel Phils,
2008 ) and most of all to produce it, it doesn’t need going into war or
invading a country. You don’t need to modify your engine to use it. By using
it, you likewise contribute to the reduction of the global warming’s threat to
humanity.

Biodiesel nomenclature depends on the feedstock used to make it. For


instance, a biodiesel made from coconut oil using methanol is called Coco
Methyl Ester or CME for short. A biodiesel made from soya oil using ethyl
alcohol is therefore called Soya Ethyl Ester or SEE. See biodiesel samples
made from different feedstocks below. The coconut oil used by Philippine
army during WWII to replace the depleted diesel inventory is not an actual
biodiesel, but was called cocodiesel. Because glycerol was not reacted out,
these 6 X 6 army trucks all bogged down after 6 months of usage due to
glycerol clogged nozzles. This is different than the real biodiesel tested by
DOST and DOE in actual cars, vans, trucks and buses starting 1972 which
became the basis and foundation why Republic Act 9367 or the BiofuelsAct of
2006 was enacted.
A sample of biodiesel made from coconut, sunflower, jatropha curcas
and peanut oils

As shown in the figure below, the carbon chain of diesel and biodiesel
are similarly structured. Diesel has carbon 8 to carbon 22, while biodiesel
depending on the feedstock used fall within these carbon lengths. CME for
instance, claimed to be the best biodiesel in the world ( DOE, Biofuels Phils
and Biofuels Act of 2006 ) has carbon chain perfectly suited in the lower
carbon chain of diesel fuel. Combining different oil, like what is being done
by the cooking oil industry, say coconut, palm and soya oils, extend the fit of
carbon length to the carbon length of diesel chemical structure. Although
chemistry-wise, the lower the carbon chain length, the better the
combustibility. Carbon 20 to 22 hydrocarbons are the culprit why diesel burns
very soothy.
Waste vegetable oil or WVO can be converted to biodiesel in the same
manner as that of virgin oils. Special formulation and chemical techniques are used
for these to become successful. Capistrano, R. hasdone rigorous research on this
both in the Philippines and Australia ( Making Biodiesel from Used and New Cooking
Oils, Anvil Publishing, 2008 ). Using the appropriate methodology, a much better
biodiesel con be produced as seen below. The figure shows the clarity of biodiesel
made from waste cooking oil in comparison with commercial premium biodiesel and
oil giant’s diesel.
Quality chemicals at reasonable price are available here to produce biodiesel.
Chemical suppliers like Alyson, Atkimson, Chemsetters and Sytengco offer these
chemicals to a would-be biodiesel producer, whether for his own or commercial use.

Equipment or reactor set-up is available imported or locally manufactured.


Freedom Fueler from the USA ship their set up at a cost of $3,000 for a 200 L
reactorto $8,500 for a 568 L complete set up ( excluding freight charges and Tax ).
A local fabricator can provide would-be biodiesel producer , 200 L complete set up
at a cost of only P80T only. This includes the technology ( 3 powerpoint
presentations, professional coaching and provide a list of chemical suppliers with
quality but guaranteed lowest price ). He’s the author of the book mentioned above
“ Making Biodiesel from Waste and New Cooking Oils “ located in Calamba City and
can be contacted at 09214688050.

The advantages of biodiesel given above are amplified and given actual
implemented experiences by Biofuels Phils. ( website : http://www.biofuels.com.ph) .
Along with various government agencies, like DENR, DOST, DOE, PCCARD,
PhilForest, they were consulted and has become the foundation why RA 9367 was
passed and enacted year 2006. Some of the advantages are summarized below.
Among the notable positive contributions of biodiesel is its combustibility or
the much higher cetane number ( octane rating for gasoline). This is clearly shown
in the picture of biodiesel flame on page 16. Cetane number of diesel is only 45
while, biodiesel has 68, and the reason for this is, the oxygen part of the chemical
structure of biodiesel where diesel doest have. We know that for combustion to
kindle, oxygen is necessary and for biodiesel, part of the molecule is providing this
and not all anymore coming from the air intake of the engine.

Diesel tailpipe heavy emissions

Observing the tailpipe of biodiesel fed engine, one will immediately notice the
drastic decrease in black emissions ( see the picture above of diesel muffler and
some pictures below under environment aspect ). This definitely is the low cost
solution to lots of smoke belching violations in the cities. In a test Mercedes Benz
engine in # 1 Mercedes Ave., Mercedes Estate Pasig City, freshly made biodiesel
from waste cooking oil is an SOP Quality Control Actual Usage Test being done for
each batch process. With so many batches and tests conducted, this has been
proven a convincing factor for Jeepney cooperatives and association to accept
categorically biodiesel as a better alternative to the dirty diesel fuel. This engine is
pictured below.

Mercedezs Benz Quality Control Actual Test engine as SOP for biodiesel
production in Pasig

In the above Mercedes benz engine, the muffler was deliberately removed
and samples are tested without it. Biodiesel compare to diesel was extra smooth
and remarkably silent. This proved that the research conducted by Malhotra ( RK
Malhotra, 2001 Devt of Alternative Fuel in India by /ADB May2001 Regional
Workshop on Fuel Quality and Alternate Fuels ) was confirmed correct, saying in a
100 pages research report that biodiesel produces “ LESS, NOISE & SMOOTH
RUNNING OF ENGINE”. This plus the reduction of ignition vibration during start up,
according to him is the best contribution of using this alternative green fuel. Using
diesel in the engine without a muffler produces an excrutiating and ear piercing
rattle and clanking noise, but using biodiesel the sound was radically improved and
the vibration minimized. Doing these two trials before an audience is really very
convincing.

The reason why the engine runs smoothly and suave was explained by
Schumacher and Adams [10th Biennial Bioenergy Conference – Bioenergy 2002,
Boise, Idaho, Sept. 22-26, 2002]. The fine lubricity characteristic was responsible
and this was shown in the graph below ;

Lubricating power of biodiesel which can be felt even at 0.5 % additive,


Schumacher & Adams, 2002

Biodiesel Provides Substantial Savings in M&R: Because it also cleans


up the engine and the fuel system as well as providing lubricity in moving parts,
coco-biodiesel solves many engine problems and will spare the motorist a lot of
maintenance expense and potential repair downtime (Biofuels Phils).

All these along with the so many drivers of government and private
companies prove that biodiesel is technically and positively viable and better
alternative fuel to diesel.
FINANCIAL ASPECT

he worldwide acceptance of biodiesel as renewable alternative fuel to diesel is


gaining momentous and sharp increase. This is shown in the two succeeding figures
below, representing biodiesel demand in the United States and production in
Germany. Both showed a sharp increase and continuously growing industry starting
1990s.
In the Philippines, the biodiesel industry started and rigorously tested on
vehicles starting 1972 as reported by Biofuels Philippines. Republic Act 9367
mandated its 1 % usage and gradually increasing with every passing years. In 1999,
DOE statistics showed that the Philippines is consuming close to 36,000 MMtonsof
diesel as shown in the table below.

S ource : DOE 1999


Statistics, Values in MMTons

Fuel consumption in the Philippines, where diesel plays a major part in the
transport industry
Merely, 1 % of this figure incorporated into commercial diesel is already
equivalent to 360 MMtons of B100 biodiesel. This is the current demand for
biodiesel from the five major oil players and explains why the current
price for it is ranging from P70 /L to P140/L. This price range will therefore
soar further when the Act raised its usage to 3 % this 2009.

Shown in the next succeeding pages is a Projected Profit and Loss Statement,
P&L and following it are the 6 graphical interpretations. The P&L gives the extent of
profit per liter and per batch when ;

1. the price of used cooking oil per balde from free and increases to P200
until P500

2. the selling price of biodiesel is competitive with diesel at P32/L, P35/L,


P40/L and P50/L

3. the corresponding cost of your biodiesel as the cost of oil and selling price
of biodiesel increase.

4. the Gross Product Return or GPR for a daily production output of 1000 L

5. the net income per batch of 200L, 277L, 500 L and 1000L at various
conditions

When the last row in the P & L Statement is graphed, the figure below
showed the projected profit as diesel price increases. If your using your own
( company waste, factory waste, mall grease traps, restaurant’s etc. ) used oil ( light
blue line in the graph ), meaning free of charge, your profit range from P27/L to
P45/L. This is way too high compare to gasoline station’s profit of P0.50 maximum
per liter. If your buying used oil at P500 per balde ( dark blue line ), you will only
gain profit if you sell your biodiesel at P35/L with a minimal profit of P0.28/L. It is
therefore important to use the brown line as a reference in buying oil at a cost lower
than P400 per balde to remain competitively profitable.

The graph below represents the last 4 columns in the P & L Statement. It
shows the income per batch if oil is bought at P500 per balde. This again shows
profit minimal gain if biodiesel is sold at P35/L but negative profit at the current
diesel price of P32/L. This is actually the break even point for the business and will
be very useful to use to keep track of your used oil purchases.
The graph below shows the income per batch for used cooking oil bought at
P400 per balde or when processed to biodiesel costs P28.77/L. At this point when
the current price of diesel is at P32/L, a P3/L margin can only be lucrative and cost-
effective if either or all of these three will be employed ;

1. sell in large volume like gasoline and diesel stations and/or

2. sell to major oil player at P70/L. In this case your profit will jack up to
P41.23/L and/or

3. sell as additive to diesel at P140/L. In this case your profit will be boosted
to P111.23/L

These three makes your biodiesel business even more profitable, but even
without these at minimum production volume per day of 1000 L , huge GPR of 36 %
is achievable as shown in the P & L Statement at selling price of P32/L. A GPR of 5%
to 10 % is considered progressive and profitable already.

In the two succeeding figures below, at P300 and P200 per balde ( 17 kg
can ), the profit margins are evidently augmented and became profitably enhanced.
At this point, specially for P200 per balde, the selling price of biodiesel can even be
lowered below P32/L diesel price mark and still remain profitable at a tolerance or
monetary leniency range of P9/L and P18/L mark up respectively.

Maximum profit and competitive financial leniency is achieved when the oil is
free. The total cost per liter of biodiesel inclusive of labor, transport and chemicals,
is less than P5 only, thus you can sell it at P30/L and still achieved a whopping P25/L
net profit. Having a GPR of 305 %, this is translated to P550,000 per 22
working-day-month at a production volume of 1000 L per day. This is
technically achievable using a 200 L set up at 5 batches per day output.

The basic reason why I extended the Profit and Loss Statement up to P50 /L is
simply because of the diesel trendline published worldwide by Finance Manila as
shown in the graph below. This study was based on the research and statistics made
available by reliable sources like Ibon Foundation, Department of Energy and
Technistock. Diesel price is moving bumpy from 1998 to 2008, but observe the
trendline, the slope is stable and continuously rising. This means that biodiesel will
have a profitable future if this diesel trendline will be the reference basis. Population
growth, diminishing arable lands, food and water scarcity, economic instability and
oil reserve shelflife ( which according to Klebnikov, Paul and Forbes (2002)in ”When
the Oils Runs Out”.Academic Search Elite. Issue 9 will last for only 30 years ) will
definitely tip this slope to a higher degrees.

ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECT

B
iodiesel is a renewable and sustainable fuel, meaning by mere planting and
growing animals, we will have continuous source of non-toxic and green fuel.
This is illustrated by the biodiesel cycle below.
It also emits minimal pollutants because of its physico-chemical properties as
explained in the technical aspect above unlike the toxic, non-biodegradable and
non-renewable diesel being emitted on the streets everyday.

Source : US EPA,
2007
The series of studies
conducted by United States
Environmental Protection Agency,
EPA showed an interesting positive
attributes of biodiesel. Using it even
at minimal blend exhibited drastic
reduction in particulate matter, PM,
the toxic carbon monoxide, CO and
hydrocarbons, HC. For soya biodiesel
( having higher protein nitrogen
content, a minimal increase of nitrous oxide, NOx was noted. This last characteristic
however, is not true for cocobiodiesel, being a saturated biodiesel, emission of
oxides of nitrogen is substantially reduced. Foremost, it Helps the Fight Against
Global Warming and Climate Change: Every liter of cocobiodiesel consumed
generates reduction of 3 kg of CO2.

Emissions of three engines that uses B100, B20 and Diesel was
comparatively studied by Sharp, C.A., S.A. Howell, and J. Jobe, in their in-depth
research entitled "The Effect of Biodiesel Fuels on Transient Emissions from Modern
Diesel Engines, Part I Regulated Emissions and Performance," SAE Paper 2000-01-
196, 2000.

Test Engine Test Transient Emissions, g/hp-hr


Fuel
HC CO NOx PM
Cummins N- B100 0.01 0.41 5.17 0.076
14
Cummins N- B20 0.19 0.64 4.76 0.102
14
Cummins N- 2-D 0.23 0.75 4.57 0.106
14

DDC Series B100 0.01 0.92 5.01 0.052


50
DDC Series B20 0.06 1.38 4.66 0.088
50
DDC Series 2-D 0.06 1.49 4.50 0.102
50
Cummins B100 0.08 1.27 4.90 0.081
B5.9
Cummins B20 0.21 1.61 4.79 0.109
B5.9
Cummins 2-D 0.31 2.05 4.70 0.128
B5.9

The above experimental results of US EPA was verified in conformity with this
research indicating positive reduction of pollutants when biodiesel is used
specifically when used as pure B100. These two results made agencies and private
companies to encourage and recommend biodiesel. These are ASTM, US DOE, US
EERE ( Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy), AFDC ( Alternative Fuel Data
Center ), Boeing ( who made the first biodiesel flight in Chechs Republic ), John
Deere, College of Alameda, Berkeley School, Florida Transit Buses, Lake Titicaca Tour
Ships, Hawaii National Park Tours, San Francisco Bay Ferry, AOCS ( American Oil
Chemist Society ), Austrian Biofuels Institute, Purdue University and many more to
name a few. From among the countries that produce biodiesel, it is Germany who is
the biggest and the largest consumer as well. Here in the Philippines, environmental
and technical related researches done by DOST and PCCARD for more than 20 years
has led other government agencies like DENR, PhilForest, PNS, DTI, DOE, EUMB,
Congress, Senate and Executive to use and encourage its utilization. Private
companies like Prince Shuttles, Chemrez, Biofuels Philippines, Senbel Fine
Chemicals, Romtron Phils., Freyvonne Milling, Zafra Rendering, Razsa Agro, Tapa
King and more use this on a regular basis continuously.

What made these agencies and companies switch over to biodiesel ? I


believe, the most convincing factor still, is the saying to see is to believe, as can be
seen in the picture below. It shows the comparative flame and sooth residues left by
burning diesel, diesel biodiesel blend and pure biodiesel.
One would immediately observe the thick residue left by burning diesel on
the rightmost sooty container. Soothy and moderate smoke being emitted on the
50/50 diesel/biodiesel blend at the middle. Very nice clean but bright flame of pure
biodiesel on the leftmost ceramic disc.

SOCIO-ECONOMIC ASPECT

estores the Old Glory of the Coconut Industry: At present, coconut oil
consumption is dwindling both locally and abroad, and coconut planting is
declining. The coconut industry is not yet “out of the woods” of being on the verge
of collapse. The Biofuels Act will give the coconut industry, through coco-biodiesel,
a new lease on life, very surely restoring its lost glory as the erstwhile agricultural
champion of the country. The Biofuels Law will create a demand for more coconut
oil, thus providing coconut farmers the incentive to preserve and replant coconut
trees rather than cutting them for coconut lumber ( Biofuels Phils website ).

Helps the Philippine economy: By causing significant fuel savings, coco-


biodiesel will save us 4 billions dollars annually that normally go to petroleum
diesel exports. By mitigating pollution and lowering emissions, cocobiodiesel will
help government save on the $450 million it spends yearly on pollution-related
health disorders while contributing significantly to slowing down climate change . By
reviving the coconut industry, coco-biodiesel will help the livelihood of some 28
million Filipinos and 69 provinces that directly or indirectly depend on the coconut
industry ( Biofuels Phils website ).
CONCLUSION

iodiesel production is highly feasible technically, financially, environmentally and


socio-economically.