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Convergence of Agricultureand Energy: III. Considerations in Biodiesel ProductionJon Van GerpenUniversity of Idaho
Outline Explain CAST Review the technology of biodiesel production. Discuss the issues and policy implications associated with the expanded use and production of biodiesel.
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Convergence of Agricultureand Energy: III. Considerations in Biodiesel Production Jon Van Gerpen University of Idaho Allan Gray Purdue University Brent Shanks Iowa State University
Participants • Authors • Chair: Jon Van Gerpen – University of Idaho • Allan Gray – Purdue University • Brent Shanks – Iowa State University • Reviewers • Beth Calabotta – Monsanto • Drew Kershen – University of Oklahoma • Alan Weber – Marc-IV Consulting (National Biodiesel Board) • CAST Liaisons: • Richard Joost – University of Tennessee • Todd Peterson – Pioneer Hi-Bred Int’l
Current Biodiesel Production Need to reach 1 billion gallons/yr by 2012 for RFS. National Biodiesel Board www.biodiesel.org
The Biodiesel Reaction Produced by a chemical reaction between methanol (or ethanol) and an oil or fat. 100 lb Soybean oil + 10 lb methanol 100 lb biodiesel + 10 lb glycerin Requires a catalyst (such as caustic soda)
Advantages of Biodiesel Requires no engine modifications (except replacing some fuel lines on pre-1993 engines). Can be blended in any proportion with petroleum diesel fuel. High cetane number and excellent lubricity. Very high flashpoint (>300°F) Less black smoke and cleaner exhaust emissions. Renewable, domestically produced, less CO2 Excellent energy ratio: Traditionally, 3.2 times more energy than is required to produce it. Latest research indicates number is >4.
Disadvantages • Currently insufficient feedstock to provide more than 5 to 10% of U.S. diesel fuel needs. • Production of fuel from food crops raises concerns about “food vs fuel.” • Concerns about indirect land use change. • Higher vegetable oil prices could cause a transition to oilseeds grown for oil rather than high-protein meal. • E.g. Typically 60% of soybean value has been high-protein meal, 40% has been oil.
New Feedstocks Waste oils Canola in southern and SE U.S. Corn oil from ethanol plants Jatropha (Southern U.S.) Mustard and Camelina Algae (8-10 years away)
Energy Balance • Biodiesel provides 3.2 times more energy than is consumed in its production. • This number from 1998, more recent estimates indicate it might have moved to as high as 4.0 • Although an advantage for biodiesel, this argument misses the point. • Biodiesel (and ethanol) convert input energy from a form that is hard to use for transportation to a liquid fuel that can be used in existing cars and trucks.
Summary Biodiesel is domestically produced and integrates easily into existing transportation infrastructure. The biodiesel industry is growing and is on target to meet 1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel for RFS in 2012. New sources of oil are being developed with the focus on under-utilized land and non-food crops.