PRODUCTION OF BIODIESEL FROM KARANJA OIL
Majority of the worlds energy needs are supplied through petrochemical sources, coal and natural gases, with the exception of hydroelectricity and nuclear energy. All these sources are finite and at current rate of usage these will be consumed shortly. The high energy demand in the industrialized world as well as in the domestic sector and pollution problems caused due to the widespread use of fossil fuels make it increasingly necessary to develop the renewable energy sources of limitless duration and smaller environmental impact than the traditional one. As a result research and development for alternative sources to replace the petroleum-based fuels has started. An alternative fuel must be technically feasible, economically competitive, environmentally acceptable, and readily available. One possible alternative to fossil fuel is the use of oils of plant origin like vegetable oils and tree borne oil seeds. This alternative diesel fuel is termed as biodiesel. It is biodegradable and non-toxic and has low emission profiles as compared to petroleum diesel. Usage of biodiesel will allow a balance to be sought between agriculture, economic development and the environment.
The concept of biofuel is not new. Rudolph Diesel was the first to use a vegetable oil (peanut oil) in a diesel engine in 1911. Biodiesel, a fuel composed of mono alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from variety of vegetable oils or animal fats. “BIO” represents its renewable and biological source in contrast to traditional petroleum-based diesel fuel; ‘‘DIESEL’’ refers to its use in diesel engines. As an alternative fuel, biodiesel can be used in neat form or mixed with petroleum-based diesel. At present 94% of all goods are transported by vehicles with diesel engines. Diesel engines release harmful gases into atmosphere, unburned carbon compounds, carbon monoxide and dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur. These gases causes severe health problems and some gases cause environmental imbalance. The main advantage of using biodiesel is that it is a clean burning alternate fuel source approved by environmental pollution agency. Biodiesel benefits the environment, the performance of vehicles and the economy. Pure biodiesel can be directly used in engines, when it is used directly it is called B100 i.e 100% pure biodiesel. When biodiesel is blended with 80% petrol-diesel it is called B20. Similarly when it is blended with 95% petrol-diesel it is called B5. Compared to petroleum-based diesel, biodiesel has a more favourable combustion emission profile, such as low emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter and unburned hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides as is reproduced in the table below. Emission Profile of Biodiesel when compared to diesel
Total Unburned Hydrocarbons
Oxides of Nitrogen (NOX)
Biodiesel is produced from oil (extracted from seeds) which undergoes transesterification reaction. The carbon dioxide produced by combustion of biodiesel can be recycled by photosynthesis, thereby minimizing the impact of biodiesel combustion on the greenhouse effect. Biodiesel is produced from major oils like Soya bean, Rapeseed, Coconut, Palm, Cottonseed, Tallow and from minor oils like Tree-borne seed oils like Karanja, Neem, Plant seed oil Jatropha (Ratanjyot), Rice bran, Water mellon, Chilli seed oil. The choice of feedstock depends on where the biodiesel is being produced and used which could meet norms of internationally accepted ASTM standards. Another important factor in biodiesel production is the fatty acid composition of the source oil or fat. Oils containing higher levels of saturated fatty acids than unsaturated fatty acids (have one or more double bonds) may solidify and clog the...
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