Project on Production & testing of cocnut oil based biodiesel fuel

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    PRODUCTION AND TESTING OF COCONUT OIL BASED BIO DIESEL

    CHAPTER 1

    INTRODUCTION

    1.1 Overview

    The world is presently confronted with the twin crisis of fossil fuel depletion

    and environmental degradation. Supply of affordable energy to all strata's of

    society is at the top of the development agenda of the most developing

    countries.

    Petroleum based fuels such as diesel and petrol continues to be the major source

    of power, but these fossil fuel reserves are estimated to last only a few more

    decades from now. According to an estimate, the reserves will last for 218 years

    for coal, 41 years for oil, and 63 years for natural gas. India imports about 70%

    of its petroleum consumption. Security of even this supply is not guaranteed as

    most of India's import is from the Gulf countries that are most of the time under

    political turmoil. By 2011 this percentage is likely to increase to 82%.

    Environmental concerns have increased significantly in the world over the past

    decade, particularly after the Earth Summit '92. Excessive use of fossil fuels has

    led to global environmental degradation effects such as green house effect, acid

    rain, ozone depletion, climate change, etc and its implications are being felt in

    day-to-day life.(Usage of these fossil fuels has led to increase in CO2 levels in

    atmosphere from 280PPM in pre-industrial era to 350PPM now.) In the Kyoto

    conference on global climate change, nations world over have committed to

    reduce GHG emissions significantly.

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    PRODUCTION AND TESTING OF COCONUT OIL BASED BIO DIESEL

    In fact, projections for the 30-year period from 1990 to 2020 indicate that

    vehicle travel, and consequently fossil fuel demand, will almost triple and the

    resulting emissions will pose a serious problem. Combustion of various fossilfuels lead to emission of several pollutants, which are categorized as regulated

    (ones whose limits have been prescribed by environmental legislations) and

    unregulated pollutants (for which no legislative limits have been prescribe).

    Regulated pollutants include NOx, CO, HC, particulate matter (PM) and

    unregulated pollutants include formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, Xylene (BTX),

    aldehydes, SO, CO, methane etc. They contribute to several harmful

    effects on human health, which are categorized as short and long term health

    effects. The short term health effects are caused by CO, nitrogen oxides, PM,(primarily unregulated pollutants) formaldehyde etc. While long term health

    effects are caused mainly by poly aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), BTX,

    formaldehyde, (primarily unregulated pollutants) etc.

    Scientists around the world have explored several alternative energy resources,

    which have the potential to quench the ever-increasing energy thirst of todays

    population. Ever since the advent of the IC engines, vegetable oils have beentried as an alternative to the diesel fuel. The inventor of the diesel engine,

    Rudolf Diesel, in 1885, used peanut oil as a diesel fuel for demonstration at the

    1990 world exhibition in Paris. Speaking to the engineering society of St. Louis,

    Missouri, in 1992, Diesel said, The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may

    seem insignificant today, but such oils may become in course of time as

    important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present times.

    1.2 Resurgence of Bio-fuels

    Gasoline emerged as the dominant transportation fuel in the early twentieth

    century because of the ease of operation of gasoline engines with the materials

    then available for engine construction, and a growing supply of cheaper

    petroleum from oil field discoveries. But gasoline had many disadvantages as an

    automotive fuel. The new fuel had a lower octane rating than ethanol, was

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    PRODUCTION AND TESTING OF COCONUT OIL BASED BIO DIESEL

    much more toxic (particularly when blended with tetra-ethyl lead and other

    compounds to enhance octane rating), was generally more dangerous and

    emitted harmful air pollutants. Gasoline was more likely to explode and burn

    accidently, gum would form on storage surfaces, and carbon deposits would

    form in combustion chamber. Petroleum was much more physically and

    chemically diverse than ethanol, necessitating complex refining procedures to

    ensure the manufacture of a consistent gasoline product. Because of its lower

    octane rating relative to ethanol, the use of gasoline meant the use of lower

    compression engines and larger cooling systems. Diesel engine technology,

    which developed soon after the emergence of gasoline as the dominant

    transportation fuel, also resulted in the generation of larger quantities of

    pollutants.

    However, despite these environmental flaws, fuels made from petroleum have

    dominated automobile transportation for the past three-quarters of a century.

    There are two key reasons: first, cost per kilometre of travel has been virtually

    the sole selection criteria. Second, the large investments made by the oil and

    auto industries in physical capital, human skills and technology make the entry

    of a new cost-competitive industry difficult.

    The result was, for many years, a near elimination of the biomass fuel

    production infrastructure. Only recently have environmental impact concerns,

    decreasing cost differential and recent political events in the middle- east made

    biomass fuels such as biodiesel a growing alternative. In 1991, the European

    Community proposed a 90% tax reduction for the use of bio-fuels, including

    biodiesel. Today 21 countries worldwide produce biodiesel. Today 21 countries

    worldwide produce biodiesel. India is one of the largest petroleum consuming

    and importing countries.

    Europe has committed to promotion of the use of bio fuels or other renewable

    fuels as a substitute for gasoline or diesel in the transport sector. It requires EU

    member states to set indicative targets for bio fuel sales and the reference values

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    are 2 % bio fuel penetration in gasoline and diesel by 2005, raising it to 5.75%

    by 2010.

    1.3 Potential of Bio-fuels

    Governments aim to reduce reliance on imported energy and promote domestic

    renewable energy programs, which could utilize domestic resources and create

    new economic activities. Though bio fuels remain relatively small in use

    compared to other forms of energy, the scenario is changing rapidly. When

    factors are coupled with vast agro-resources, new technologies that reduce cost,emphasise on environment and pollution abatement and a strong will from both

    government and private entrepreneurs; the markets for bio fuels are slowly but

    surely gaining momentum.

    Various bio fuel energy resources explored include biomass, biogas, primary

    alcohols, vegetable oil, biodiesel etc. These alternative energy resources are

    largely environment-friendly but they need to be evaluated on case-to-case basisfor their advantages, disadvantages and specific applications. Some of these

    fuels can be used directly while others need to be formulated to bring the

    relevant properties closer to conventional fuels.

    In the Indian context, vegetable oils can be seriously considered as a fuel for CI

    engines as the huge scope for cultivating oil crops is a major advantage. Also

    the combustion related properties of vegetable oils and its derivatives aresomewhat similar to diesel oil. Moreover there is a vast forest resource from

    which oil can be derived and formulated to give combustion related properties

    close to that of diesel oil. Use of ethanol-diesel blends and biodiesel are the two

    possibilities.

    Biodiesel is chemically modified alternative fuel for diesel engines, derived

    from vegetable oil fatty acids, and animal fat. Chemically it is defined as themono alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from renewable lipid sources

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    PRODUCTION AND TESTING OF COCONUT OIL BASED BIO DIESEL

    that is, vegetable oils. This bio fuel obtained after transesterification is labelled

    pure biodiesel (B100). But usually this pure bio fuel is mixed or blended with

    different proportions of diesel to obtain various blends. In the present study the

    blends prepared are B10, B20 and B30, B40, B50.

    Broadly speaking, due to wide variations in climate, soil conditions, and

    competing use of land, different nations and researchers look upon different

    vegetable oils, which are locally available, as potential fuels. Considering the

    huge rates of consumption of petroleum fuels at present, it is clear that

    vegetable oils can, at best, provide only a partial replacement.

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