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Why Biodiesel? PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Why Biodiesel? Domestically produced (helps US farmers) Reduction in pollution It is a renewable resource Simple production process Works in existing infrastructure Today’s cars and trucks Today’s distribution system Today’s filling stations www.brevardbiodiesel.org

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Why biodiesel l.jpg

Why Biodiesel?

  • Domestically produced (helps US farmers)

  • Reduction in pollution

  • It is a renewable resource

  • Simple production process

  • Works in existing infrastructure

    • Today’s cars and trucks

    • Today’s distribution system

    • Today’s filling stations

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A cooperative effort in Brevard County, Florida, to promote sustainable transportation fuels

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Rudolph Diesel

  • 1858 – Born in Paris

  • 1879 – Graduated from Munich Polytechnic

  • 1880 – Began work as a refrigeration engineer

  • 1885-1895 – Designed several heat engines, working toward more efficiency than steam engines

  • 1893 – Patented the “Diesel” engine – his first diesel engines ran on peanut oil – he hoped to enable “commonfolk,” not just “Oil and Coal Barrons,” to produce fuel

  • 1913 – Disappeared en route to England – his body was later found in English Channel – conspiracy theories abound

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Diesel Engine Milestones

  • By 1919, Clessie Cummins had obtained rights to manufacture diesel engines in the U.S. and made many improvements such as better fuel injection

  • 1920s – The Oil Barrons Strike Back – Introduced petroleum “diesel fuel” and encouraged engine modifications to use its lower viscosity characteristics (better cold weather performance)

1970s – Emergence of OPEC power – First oil crisis

Sudden American interest in fuel efficiency created a major diesel engine market in the U.S.

Today’s diesel engines are inherently 20% to 40% more fuel efficient than their gasoline counterparts (that’s why most trucks use them)

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Diesel Engines in Automobiles

  • After the first oil crisis, Diesel share of U.S. auto sales rose dramatically in the 1980s:Mercedes: 70%VW: 50%

Unfortunately, General Motors got in the act and produced more than half the diesels sold in the US during the 1980s. Their diesels were just modified gasoline engines which proved very unreliable and poisoned Americans’ perception of diesels. Consequently:

Diesel share of US sales today: Mercedes: 6%VW: 5%

Diesel share of European car sales today: More than 40%

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Which cars can run biodiesel?

Almost any diesel-powered automobile, including:

  • Current models offered with diesel engines:

    • VW: Jetta sedan and wagon, Golf, New Beetle

    • Mercedes: 2005 E320 CDI

    • Ford, Dodge, GM Trucks

    • Jeep Liberty ships with B5

  • Used models offered with diesel engines:

    • VW: Jetta, New Beetle, Golf, MID-90s, Passat, Pickup, Vanagon

    • Mercedes: '87 300TD, '87 300SD, 190D, 300D, 350(, '81 - '85) 300D, SD, SDL, Earlier 300D, 240D

    • John Deere 330 lawn tractor/mower!

      source: http://www.grassolean.com/?textFile=dieselcars

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Biodiesel Problems

  • Problem: Cold weather properties (viscosity, cloud point,gel point): Less tolerant of cold than petroleum diesel

    • Solution: Use in combination with petroleum diesel, and/or use an anti-gel agent

  • Problem: Solvent properties: Dissolves petroleum diesel residues & crud – can clog fuel filter of old engines until system is clean

    • Solution: Change fuel filters frequently during transition

  • Problem: Fuel line incompatibility in older cars

    • Solution: Replace natural rubber with “Viton” synthetic parts

  • Problem: Price: B100 sells for around $2-$4 per gallon

    • Solution: Make your own or join a coop

  • Problem: Accessibility: Harder to find that regular diesel

    • Solution: Wait a bit - slowly improving

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Citgo Station

Kennedy Space Center

(B20 retail pump)

SJG Fuels

Hallandale, FL 33008


Ward Oil Co

2701 Louisiana Ave

Tampa, FL 33610

Delco Oil

174 S. Highway 17

East Palatka, FL 32131

Where can you buy biodiesel?



Note: very expensive this way!

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How much does biodiesel cost?

  • Prices vary from $2 to over $4 per gallon (we just paid $4.87/gal including shipping)

  • Increasing petroleum prices have caused a sudden interest, as petroleum diesel has already reached almost $2.50 per gallon

  • Since January, 2005, there has been a tax incentive to biodiesel producers (up to $1/gallon on B100)

  • The incentive is a result of H.R. 4520 (American JOBS Creation Act of 2004)(passed during October, 2004)

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How safe is biodiesel?

  • Biodiesel has completed the rigorous Health Effects testing requirements of the Clean Air Act. Results show that Biodiesel reduces carcinogenic air toxics by 75-90% compared to diesel. (source: http://www.distributiondrive.com/FAQ.html)

  • Pure Biodiesel (B100) is nontoxic, biodegradable and essentially free of sulfur.

  • Flash point – The temperature to which the fuel must be heated before it will ignite when exposed to a spark or flame.

    • Petroleum Diesel = 60-80ºC

    • Biodiesel = 100-170ºC

    • Gasoline = -40ºC

By comparison, Gasoline evaporates easily at room temp which leads to both an easier (unsafe) ignition *and* more air pollution from spills/leaks.

More than 2 minutes to get it fully burning

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Biodiesel & air pollution

Findings of government study "Life Cycle Inventory of Biodiesel and Petroleum Diesel for Use in an Urban Bus":

  • Lifecycle Emission:

    • Biodiesel reduces net emissions of CO2 by 78.45% compared to petroleum diesel

    • Total particulate matter reduced by 32%,

    • Carbon monoxide reduced by 35%

    • Sulfur oxides reduced 8%

    • NOx increase by 13.35% over fuel lifecycle

  • Tailpipe Emissions:

    • Particulates less than 10 microns in size are 68% lower

    • Carbon monoxide are 46% lower

    • Sulfur oxides are completely eliminated

    • NOx increase by 8.89% at tailpipe

      (source: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/legosti/fy98/24089.pdf)

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Biodiesel & CO2 Emissions

Life Cycle Comparison to gasoline and other fuels – Fleet CO2 emissions using:

  • B100: 7 lbs/gallon

  • B20: 23 lbs/gallon

  • Diesel: 28 lbs/gallon

  • Gasoline:24 lbs/gallon

    source: http://travelmatters.org/calculator/transit/methodology

Ethanol: 11 lbs/gallon

Methanol: 19.6 lbs/gallon

LPG: 13 lbs/gallon

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Where does biodiesel come from?

  • Like all life on earth, Biodiesel starts with photosynthesis

  • Photosynthesis occurs in plant leaves, phytoplankton, and algae:

    Carbon Dioxide + Water + Sunlight >>> Glucose + Oxygen

    CO2 + H2O + Energy >>> C6H12O6 + O2

  • Photosynthesis is the same in all plants, but then…

  • Each plant has its own recipes for converting glucose to other substances such as carbohydrates, proteins, & fats (oils)

  • Biodiesel is all in the fat!

  • Petroleum also (it’s just Jurassic fat!)

  • Some plants produce lots of fat – For example: olives, avocados, walnuts,soybeans, peanuts, corn and canola

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Where Does Biodiesel Go?

  • All fuels and foods are consumed in Combustion or Metabolism(the reverse of photosynthesis)

  • Carbon-based Fuel + Oxygen >>> Carbon Dioxide + Water + Heate.g.CH4 + O2 >>> CO2 + H2O + Energy

  • Using Fossil fuels releases carbon that was sequestered millions of years ago

  • In contrast, the Biodiesel life cycle releases carbon that was sequestered during recent months (it’s a renewable fuel)

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Organic Chemistry 101(The chemistry of carbon)

  • Water (point of reference)

  • Methanol (Methyl Alcohol)

  • Ethanol (Ethyl Alcohol)

  • Isopropyl Alcohol

  • Glycerol (Glycerin )

  • In Biodiesel, Methanol/Ethanol and Glycerol are very important

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Organic Chemistry 101

Most fat is triglycerides: Triesters of fatty acids and glycerol

Esters & Free Fatty Acids

Saturated, Monounsaturated, and Polyunsaturated fats

Transesterification – transferring the esters from glycerin to methanol or ethanol

Methyl Esters (most Biodiesel)

Ethyl Esters

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Composition of soy oil & soy esters

  • 8% with 16 carbon atoms (aka "Palmitic Acid")

  • 3% with 18 carbon atoms (aka "Stearic Acid")

  • 25% with 18 carbon atoms and 1 double bond (aka "Oleic Acid")

  • 55% with 18 carbon atoms and 2 double bonds (aka "Linoleic Acid")

  • 8% with 18 carbon atoms and 3 double bonds (aka "Linolenic Acid")

  • Most vegetable oils contain Omega-6 fatty acids (first double bond between 6th & 7th carbon atom from the end

  • Fish oils and Flax seed contain Omega-3 fatty acids

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Biodiesel Acronyms

  • SVO – Straight Vegetable Oil

    • You can burn straight vegetable oil in many diesel engines

    • Must heat it to about 150º before injecting into combustion chamber

  • WVO – Waste Vegetable Oil (SVO that you get from a dumpster)

  • Soy Esters – Biodiesel made from Soybeans

  • Rapeseed Esters – Biodiesel made from Rapeseed

  • Due to its high cost and limited availability, biodiesel fuel is often sold in mixtures with petroleum diesel (affectionately known as “Dinodiesel”)

    • B100 = 100% Biodiesel

    • B20 = 20% Biodiesel mixed with 80% Dinodiesel

    • B2 = 2% Biodiesel mixed with 98% Dinodiesel (just to improve lubricity)

    • Biodiesel’s lubricity is far better than petroleum diesel, especially compared with low-sulfur petroleum diesel that will be mandated in the U.S. beginning in 2006. Its use can extend the lives of diesel engines

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What’s different in Europe?

  • Thousands of fuel stations sell biodiesel

  • Most biodiesel is made from rapeseed (as opposed to soy in U.S.)

  • Government incentives for producers and consumers

  • General Motors didn’t poison the European public’s diesel perception

  • More than 40% of new cars are diesel-powered

  • Volkswagen has recently announced plans to develop a diesel hybrid that should easily achieve more than 70 mpg

  • New types of catalytic converters will eliminate the diesel NOX problem

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The $64/gallon Question

  • Can algae be used as a major source of vegetable oil?

  • From 1978 to 1996, the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory researched algae as a biodiesel source in the “Aquatic Species Program”

  • The program was discontinued, not because algae is not a viable source, but because the resulting product was not cost competitive with petroleum diesel that was selling at $1.25 per gallon at the time. (perhaps times have changed!)

  • In fact, algae was shown to produce up to 30 times more oil than seed crops such as soybeans and canola!

  • Do you think we can grow some algae in Florida?

  • Pay attention to the next retention pond or sewage treatment plant that you see!

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How Much Biodiesel Do We Need?

  • Each year in the U.S., transportation consumes:

    • 60 billion gallons of petroleum diesel

    • 120 billion gallons of gasoline

  • About 75% is used by trucking/transportation

  • The remainder is used for heating oil, railroads, construction, and other things

  • Estimates indicate that there is enough waste vegetable oil to replace about 5% of the diesel fuel consumed in the U.S.

  • Available agricultural land might increase this to 15%

  • That’s still not much fuel when you consider that diesel consumption is just a fraction of gasoline consumption

  • So we need to explore algae production (A UNH estimateshows that as little as 10 million acres of algae could produce enough fuel for all U.S. transportation needs (Brevard County is almost 1 million acres)

  • Another potential technology: Waste-to-Oil (as reported in Discover Magazine, July 2004)

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Why Biodiesel?

  • Domestically produced (helps US farmers)

  • Reduction in pollution

  • It is a renewable resource

  • Simple production process

  • Works in existing infrastructure

    • Today’s cars and trucks

    • Today’s distribution system

    • Today’s filling stations

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Biodiesel Links

  • www.brevardbiodiesel.org

  • www.biodieselnow.com

  • www.journeytoforever.org

  • www.tdiclub.com

  • www.biodiesel.org

  • http://www.discover.com/issues/jul-04/features/anything-into-oil/

  • http://www.changingworldtech.com/

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