Biodiesel is designed for complete compatibility with petroleum diesel and can be blended in any ratio, from additive levels to 100 percent biodiesel. In the United States today, biodiesel is typically produced from soybean or rapeseed oil or can be reprocessed from waste cooking oils or animal fats such as waste fish oil. Because it is made of these easily obtainable plant-based materials, it is a completely renewable fuel source.
With increase in the demand of petroleum products the prices of petrol & diesel are increasing world wide. This trend is expected in years to come as the resources are also depleting. Hence alternative sources of energy for running our generators, automobiles etc. are being considered world wide. The possibility of obtaining oil from plant resources has aroused a great interest and in several countries, vegetable oil after esterification being used as 'Biodiesel'. Biodiesel is a nontoxic, biodegradable replacement of the petroleum diesel. The vegetable oils are treated with alcohol ethanol or methanol and alkali. The products of the reaction are Biodiesel and glycerol. Chemically biodiesel is monoalkyl esters of long chain fatty acid and its properties are similar to petrodiesel. The biodiesel can be used as 20% blend with petrodiesel in existing engines without any modification. Both the edible and non edible vegetable oils can be used as the raw materials for the biodiesel. Considering the cost and demand of the edible oils the non edible oils may be preferred for the preparation of biodiesel in India. In India a National mission on Biodiesel has been launched with the objective for producing biodiesel required for blending to the extent of 20% with the petrodiesel in the year 2011-12. Further it has decided to go for the massive plantation of non edible oil producing plant species. The following plant species are known to be good sources for the biodiesel 1. Jatropha curcas (Jatropha)
2. Pongamia pinnata (Karanj)
3. Azadirachta indica (Neem)
4. Madhuca indica (Mahua)
The process of obtaining Biodiesel is simple and requires only two steps as follows: 1. Extracting oil from seeds by expeller
2. Esterification of the extracted oil
Jatropha curcas has the oil contents 33 - 40% and it can be grown in the salty, stony and sandy soils and in the areas having rainfall even up to 200 mm. The animals also do not consume Jatropha plants. The Biotech Park has under taken a project for raising the Nursery of the Jatrophacurcas plants by the technology provided by National botanical Research Institute, Lucknow. The jatropha plantlets are raised from the seedlings and cuttings. The plantlets raised at the Biotech Park are disease free and will yield seeds with high oil contents. The Biotech Park has received an order for supply of three lakhs Jatropha plants from National Oil Seeds and Vegetable Oil Development Board, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. Besides this the farmers from different parts of states of UP are approaching Park and booking their orders for the supply of Jatropha plants The low point of Sean Lee Davies' Southeast Asian road trip was having to beg in Kuala Lumpur. Sitting in the street, with a fuel container...