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Small-Scale Biodiesel Production Energy Overview Where does our energy come from? 85% from fossil fuels coal, crude oil products, natural gas 7% renewable fuels hydro power, wind, solar, biomass, biofuels 8% nuclear Energy Use What do we use energy for? Heating & Cooling

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energy overview
Energy Overview

Where does our energy come from?

85% from fossil fuels

coal, crude oil products, natural gas

7% renewable fuels

hydro power, wind, solar, biomass, biofuels

8% nuclear

energy use
Energy Use

What do we use energy for?

Heating & Cooling

Lights, appliances, cooking, household uses



transportation fuels
Transportation Fuels

Two fuels dominate the transportation fuel market:


Biodiesel can be used to supplement or replace diesel fuel


diesel fuel facts
Diesel Fuel Facts

Diesel Fuel Facts

Widely available

Diesel engines are common

Refining and transportation infrastructure is well developed

Consumers know about diesel

diesel fuel
Diesel Fuel

Recent Developments

New diesel fuel standards (low sulfur diesel)

New diesel burns cleaner (good)

Lubricity is reduced (bad)

Retail diesel prices have increased


Demand has been growing

Refining capacity is strained

Transportation capacity is strained

Higher fuel quality standards

biodiesel facts
Biodiesel Facts

What is biodiesel?

Fuel created from vegetable oil or animal fat

Small-scale producers generally use vegetable oil

Can be used in traditional diesel engines

Biodiesel can be blended with diesel fuel

Biodiesel be produced in small or large quantities

biodiesel facts10
Biodiesel Facts

Lower energy content than Diesel

Biodiesel: 118,296 BTUs per gallon

No. 2 Diesel: 129,500 BTUs per gallon

Source: National Biodiesel Board

Energy Lifecycle

3.2 units of energy are produced for each energy unit used

Source: NREL

biodiesel facts11
Biodiesel Facts

What type of oil is most biodiesel made from?

Soybean oil in the USA

Rapeseed oil in Europe

Is biodiesel the same as vegetable oil?



Will biodiesel damage my engine?

No…if the biodiesel meets the standards of ASTM 6751

One exception:

Biodiesel can damage certain natural rubber engine components over time

Older engines may require the replacement of fuel lines and some gaskets

These components are unlikely to fail immediately but may fail with increased biodiesel use

biodiesel price
Biodiesel Price

Data from Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report (DOE)

svo and wvo

Straight Vegetable Oil is not biodiesel

This includes Waste Vegetable Oil

Diesel engines can be modified to run on vegetable oil

Some users who have modified engines have reported long term problems using SVO

svo and wvo16

Main Problems:

These fuels are too thick.

The must be thinned to function in a diesel engine

How? By heating or a by chemical reaction (the chemical reaction is the biodiesel production)

Problem is worse the lower the temperature

Modified engines still typically use SVO in conjunction with diesel for start up and shut down

No government incentives for SVO and WVO

types of oilseeds
Types of Oilseeds

Major U.S. Oilseed Crops




  • Canola/Rapeseed
  • Flaxseed
  • Safflower
types of oilseeds19
Types of Oilseeds

Other oil producing crops




  • Palm
  • Olive
  • Coconut
oilseed crops 2007 yields
Oilseed Crops: 2007 Yields

Crop Ave. Yield Ave. Oil Content

Soybeans 41.7 bu/acre ≈ 22%

Canola 1,250 lbs/acre ≈ 40%

Flaxseed 16.9 bu/acre ≈ 38%

Safflower 1,215 lbs/acre ≈ 35%

Sunflower 1,436 lbs/acre ≈ 42%

Mustard 603 lbs/acre ≈ 36%

oilseed processing
Oilseed Processing

The Oilseed Processing Industry:

Separates the “whole seed” into 2 or more products

The difference between the cost of the seed and the value of the products created is the “crushing margin”

processing technology
Processing Technology

Two General Methods

Solvent Extraction

Standard technology for facilities with daily capacities of greater than 300 tons per day

Commonly used in conjunction with some form of mechanical extraction

Mechanical Extraction

Typically used for facilities with daily capacities of less than 150 tons per day

solvent extraction
Solvent Extraction

Nearly all commercial soybean processors use solvent extraction technology

solvent extraction24
Solvent Extraction

The basic process:

Seed Preparation

Removal of foreign objects

Removal of seed hulls or shells for some seeds


Seed is crushed through a mechanical press

Pre-Pressing removes some oil from high oil content seeds

solvent extraction25
Solvent Extraction

The basic process:

Solvent Application

Solvent is applied to the pre-pressed material

The solvent bonds to the oil in the material

Solvent & oil mixture is removed from the meal

The oil is then separated from the solvent which is reused in the process

solvent extraction26
Solvent Extraction


Solvent Extraction is capable of recovering of 99% of the oil contained in the seed

Lowest cost per ton for commercial processing


Large capital investment

Not feasible for small-scale processing

Environmental concerns

mechanical extraction
Mechanical Extraction

The basic process:

Seed Preparation

Removal of foreign objects

Removal of seed hulls or shells for some seeds


Seed is processed by a mechanical press

Removing 65-80% of oil contained in the seed

mechanical extraction28
Mechanical Extraction

Required Equipment

Mechanical Press

Power source for the press

Seed Bins

Meal Bins

Oil Tanks

Pumps, Filters, Plumbing


On-Farm Example:

If you plant 100 acres of canola,

with an average yield of 1,100 lbs per acre,

your production is approximately 55 tons


The 55 tons of seed will yield approximately:

4,200 gallons of oil

36 tons of meal

* Assuming: The seed has 38% oil content and press recovers 75% of the oil content in the seed.


On-Farm Example:

If you plant 100 acres of safflower,

with an average yield of 800 lbs per acre,

your production is approximately 40 tons


The 40 tons of seed will yield approximately:

2,800 gallons of oil

27 tons of meal

* Assuming: The seed has 35% oil content and press recovers 75% of the oil content in the seed.

biodiesel process
Biodiesel Process

Basic Overview

Inputs: Oil, Alcohol & Catalyst

Outputs: Biodiesel & Crude Glycerin

biodiesel process35
Biodiesel Process

Sample Recipe

Oil 100 Parts

Alcohol 10 to 20 Parts

Catalyst 0.5 to 3 Parts

* Manufacturers often provide a “basic” recipe to use as

a starting point.

biodiesel process36
Biodiesel Process


Biodiesel 100 Parts

Crude Glycerin 10-20 Parts

biodiesel process37
Biodiesel Process

Pre-Reaction Equipment

Oil Storage Tank

Alcohol Storage Tank

Catalyst Storage

Biodiesel “Reactor”

Pumps, Filters, Plumbing

biodiesel process38
Biodiesel Process

Post-Reaction Equipment

Settling tanks and/or Separating Equipment

Washing Equipment

Drying Equipment

Biodiesel Storage Tank

Glycerin Storage Tank

Pumps, Filters, Plumbing

biodiesel process39
Biodiesel Process

Biodiesel Equipment

Micro Scale Processors

100 gallons or less per batch

Numerous Manufacturers

Some sold as “kits”

Others sold as “ready to use”

Accessories included in the package varies

biodiesel process40
Biodiesel Process

Micro Scale Biodiesel Processor

biodiesel process41
Biodiesel Process

Biodiesel Equipment

Small-Scale Processors

75 to 300 gallons per batch

Fewer Manufacturers

Usually not sold as “kits”

Typically higher quality materials

Accessories included in the package varies

biodiesel process42
Biodiesel Process

Small-Scale Biodiesel Processor

biodiesel process43
Biodiesel Process

Processing 4,200 Gallons

40 gallon processor: 105 batches

60 gallon processor: 70 batches

100 gallon processor: 42 batches

final products
Final Products


On-Farm Use

Blended Fuels

Fuel Quality Important

Vehicle Modifications

May need to replace natural rubber fuel lines and gaskets

final products45
Final Products

Crude Glycerin

No Ready Market for Crude Glycerin

Quantity produced is 10% to 20% of biodiesel production

Contains Methanol & Catalyst

Possible Uses:


Fuel Oil

Refine to Pharmaceutical Grade Glycerin

federal policy
Federal Policy

What agency is responsible for biofuel policy?

A) Energy

B) Agriculture

C) Commerce

D) Environmental Protection

E) Transportation

Answer: All of the above

biofuels policy
Biofuels Policy

Current federal policy for biofuels:

Most of the biofuels policy is:

Farm Energy

Energy Policy

Other agency are involved:

U.S. Dept. of Transportation

Environmental Protection Agency

Internal Revenue Service

Department of Labor

key federal policies
Key Federal Policies

Biodiesel Incentives

Biodiesel Blenders Tax Credit

$1.00 per gallon for virgin oils

$0.50 per gallon for recycled oils

Small Producer Tax Credit

$0.10 per gallon of Ethanol or Biodiesel

state programs regulations
State Programs & Regulations

Each state has different regulations and incentives for biodiesel.

Check with your state officials for details

You may need to check with Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Environmental Protection, Transportation, and/or other departments

other regulations
Other Regulations

Fire Safety Issues

Methanol storage is subject to regulations of local fire marshals. Contact your local fire marshal

Building Code Issues

Production and storage of biodiesel, methanol and glycerin may violate building codes.

oilseed processing54
Oilseed Processing

Oilseed Processing Assumptions

Seed Cost $0.151 per pound

Oil Content 40%

Recovery Rate 72%

Consistent with an average mechanical crush

Labor Cost $10/hour

Meal Revenue $120 per ton

Net of transportation costs

oilseed processing55
Oilseed Processing

Assume 10 ton per day press

Installed Cost of $11,485

Financed for 10 years at 6%

Labor Cost $3,289 47%

Other Costs $3,704 53%

Total Cost $6,993

Processing Cost per Ton $51

oilseed processing56
Oilseed Processing

Seed 274,110 lbs. @ $0.151 per lbs.

Crushing 137 tons @ $51 per ton

Meal 92.7 tons @ $120 per ton

Oil 10,000 gallons

Seed Cost $41,391

Crushing Cost $ 6,993

Total Cost $48,384

Meal Revenue $11,124

Net Cost $37,260

Net Cost Per Gallon of Vegetable Oil $3.73

biodiesel production
Biodiesel Production

Biodiesel Assumptions

Based on 10,000 gallon per year

With a 80-gallon batch processor

Assumes 0% methanol recovery

Labor at $10 per hour

biodiesel production58
Biodiesel Production


Oil $3.73/gallon $3.73

Methanol $2.32/gallon $0.44

Catalyst $1.85/lbs. $0.07

Labor $10/hour $0.37

Capital Costs 10 years @ 6% $0.14

Fuel Quality Testing $0.10

1 ASTM/Year & $5 test/batch

All Other Operating Costs $0.01

Total $4.86

biodiesel production59
Biodiesel Production


Production Cost $ 4.86

Producer Profit $ 0.00

Small Producer Tax Credit $-0.10

State Production Incentive $-0.10

Transportation $ 0.00

Price to Distributor $ 4.66


Purchase Price $ 4.66

Blender’s Credit $-1.00

Federal Fuel Tax $ 0.25

State Fuel Tax $ 0.28

Distributor Profit $ 0.00

Price to Retailer $ 4.19

Retailer (on farm use avoids retail sales)

Purchase Price $ 4.19

Retailer Mark-up $ 0.00

Retail Price (B100) $ 4.19

sensitivity analysis
Sensitivity Analysis

Price ChangeBiodiesel Change

Seed Cost $0.01/lbs. $0.27/gallon

Meal Revenue $10/ton $0.09/gallon

Crushing Cost** $10/ton $0.14/gallon

Labor Cost* $1/hour $0.07/gallon

*Biodiesel Labor only

**Labor cost change of $1/hour for oilseed processing: $0.03/gallon

Methanol Cost $0.50/gallon $0.10/gallon