Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What Is Biodiesel Fuel?

What is Biodiesel Fuel ?

"So what is biodiesel fuel? In simple words, it is a natural and renewable domestic fuel made from vegetable oils, mostly soy and corn. It holds no petroleum, is biodegradable and nontoxic. It is viewed as an alternative for diesel engines. Moving on with the explanation of biodiesel fuel, technically, it refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel which comprises of long-chain alkyl esters and is typically made by reacting lipids with an alcohol chemically.

Offering more info about biodiesel fuel, it is meant to be used in standard diesel engines. What is interesting about biodiesel fuel is that it can be used alone, or mixed with petrodiesel. The National Biodiesel Board (USA) also has a technical meaning of biodiesel as a mono-alkyl ester.
As Biodiesel burns clean, this means there will be a major reduction an all types of pollutants adding to smog and global warming. It is the only alternate fuel which has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It has also passed every Heath-Effects Test of the Clean Air Act and meets the necessities of the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
Getting further with the explanation of biodiesel fuel, it is a clean burning alternative fuel from 100% renewable resources. Most people believe Biodiesel to be the fuel of the future. Also known as Biofuel, it does not contain petroleum. But can be blended with petroleum to produce a biodiesel blend which is then used in many different vehicles. Pure biodiesel fuel, can only be used in diesel engines. It is biodegradable and non-toxic, thus making it completely safe."

For Indonesia the use of edible oils for fuel is prohibited and therefore an alternative source for tis use is JATROPHA a plant that grows wildly especially in the eastern part of Indonesia. The Indonesian name is JARAK, and this plant was since the Japanese Occupation period recommended as a substitute for oil for lighting and cooking.

Above is a poster produced by the Japanese Occupation Forces in Indonesia to promote the cultivation of  the JARAK (DJARAK) or Jatropha plant  (1942-1945), saying : "Sedari menanam hingga memetik, peliharalah jarakmu agar hasil menjadi sebesarnya !" Which means according to Wikipedia : 

{Information |Description ={{en|1="From planting to harvest. Treat the jatropha plant as well as possible to make the harvest as large as possible." (A reference to the compulsory planting of jatropha for the production of oil as machinery lubricant )

Jatropha curcas is a multipurpose plant with many attributes and considerable potential. It is a tropical plant that can be grown in low to high rainfall areas and can be used to reclaim land, as a hedge and/or as a commercial crop. Thus, growing it could provide employment, improve the environment and enhance the quality of rural life. The establishment, management and productivity of jatropha under various climatic conditions are not fully documented. This is discussed and the gaps in the knowledge elucidated, especially its fertilizer requirements. The plant produces many useful products, especially the seed, from which oil can be extracted; this oil has similar properties to palm oil. The costs and returns of growing the plant and producing the plant oil are discussed and tabulated. Because it can be used in place of kerosene and diesel and as a substitute for fuelwood, it has been promoted to make rural areas self sufficient in fuels for cooking, lighting and motive power. This strategy is examined and found not viable. Oil for soap making is the most profitable use. It is concluded that all markets for jatropha products should be investigated. If the full potential of the plant is to be realized, much more research is required into the growing and management of Jatropha curcas and more information is needed on the actual and potential markets for all its products.

A little bit of chemistry doesn't harm this blog, below is a short explanation WHAT biodiesel is :

FAME – FAME, or fatty acid methyl ester can be created by a catalysed reaction between fatty acids and methanol. The molecules in biodiesel are primarily FAMEs, usually obtained from
vegetable oils by transesterification.

Fatty acid: A fatty acid is a carboxylic acid (an acid with a -COOH group) with long
hydrocarbon side chains. Feedstocks are first converted to fatty acids and then to biodiesel
Feedstock – A feedstock is any biomass resource destined for conversion to energy or biofuel.
For example, corn is a feedstock for ethanol production, soybean oil may be a feedstock for
biodiesel and cellulosic biomass has the potential to be a significant feedstock source for


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