Synthesis of Biofuels
Biofuel Definition As an alternative for conventional fuel production from crude oil, fuels from renewable resources (biofuels) gains considerable importance.
While for first-generation biofuels only certain parts of sugar, the starch of oil-containing plants are used, it is possible to use the total vegetable biomass for second-generation biofuels, including biogenic residual and waste materials.
Biodiesel is a first-generation biofuel and is gained in a conventional process by transesterification of vegetable oil with methanol at standard pressure and temperatures between 55 and 80 °C.
Synthesis of Biofuels Process
This process is comparatively slow and the reaction times usually take up to four hours. We have developed a process that shortens this to a time demand between half a minute and five minutes. The key technology is the catalyst which is applied in solid form as a layer on a metallic carrier and thus, does not have to be separated later in the process.
Synthesis gas, a mixture consisting of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, serves as a starting point for the value chain of a substantial part of second-generation biofuels. For this purpose, the biomass initially is split up into solid, liquid, and gaseous fractions in a pyrolysis process. Especially from the liquid, organic fraction,
The required synthesis gas can be produced via reforming reactions. In the scope of a project dealing with the realization of integrated biorefinery concepts, we are currently developing a process for the production of synthesis gas from pyrolysis oil and biogas via Autothermal reforming. Our objective is the demonstration of feasibility as well as the further conversion of the synthesis gas with the help of a mini plant.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Biofuels
The benefits of biodiesel are :
Advantages of biofuel
- The lifecycle production and use of biodiesel produce approximately 80% less carbon dioxide. Combustion of biodiesel alone produces over a 90% reductions in total unburned hydrocarbons and a 75-90% reduction in aromatic hydrocarbons. Biodiesel further provides significant reduction in particulates and carbon monoxide than conventional diesel fuel.
- Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel that runs in any conventional, unmodified diesel engine.
- Needs no change in refueling infrastructures and spare part inventories.
- Maintains the payload capacity and range of conventional diesel engines.
- Diesel skilled mechanics can easily attend to biodiesel engines,
- 100% domestic fuel.
- Neat biodiesel is non- toxic and biodegradable based on Ames mutagenicity tests, biodiesel provides or 90% reduction in cancer risk.
- Cetane number is significantly higher than that of conventional diesel fuel.
- Lubricity is improved over conventional diesel.
- Has a high flash pt of about 3000 F compared to that of conventional diesel, which has a flash pt of 125 F? 1.5 Disadvantages of biodiesel
Disadvantages of biodiesel are :
- The quality of biodiesel depends on the blend thus quality can be tempered.
- Biodiesel has excellent solvent production. Any deposits in the filters and in the delivery systems are disowned by biodiesel and result in the need for the replacement of the filters.
- There may be a problem with winter operability.
- Spills of biodiesel can decolorize any painted surface that is left for long.
- Neat biodiesel demands compatible elastomers (hoses, gaskets, etc).
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