Waste management is a vital issue around the globe, one that is demanding immediate and effective solutions. In some countries the problem exists at the most base level: collection of garbage is non-existent.
BioCRUDE Technologies, Inc. has developed efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly products and systems for the reformation of waste material, waste management and creation of renewable energy.
The versatility and potential of the BioCRUDE Technology has been demonstrated by the many uses that our R & D department has already tested and verified. The avenues they have explored include sustainable and cost efficient methods that will enlarge composting and biomethanation yields and rates of decomposition while increasing output and providing a higher quality of end product. Their focus is on waste treatment protocols for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), cellulose, all organic waste and all manure types; improved functioning of septic tanks; renewable energy sources such as biogas, ethanol and biodiesel; waste water treatment, and multiple other applications.
Environmental issues have taken the forefront globally, creating solid expectations for investments in green technology. The company will pursue Licensing agreements, Joint Ventures and Revenue sharing agreements for the use, fabrication and sale of the independent products and processes.
High amounts of sewage sludge are produced as a result of unavoidable human activities and the volume has become a social and environmental issue. Anaerobic digestion and/or composting of sewage sludge are technologies that have been shown to effectively address many of the problems associated with waste and manure management, with the additional benefit of providing a reliable energy resource.
Nutrients found in sewage sludge come in both organic and inorganic forms. Inorganic nutrients, mostly ammonium (NH4 ) and nitrate (NO3-), are readily available to plants. Before organic nutrients can be taken up, however, they must first be converted to inorganic forms. This process, which is completed by soil microbes as a by-product of organic matter breakdown, is called decomposition. The decomposition rate is therefore the rate at which organic nutrients are made plant available.
An understanding of the concept and rate of decomposition can help improve manure management to meet crop nutrient demands, while minimizing the potential for regulatory concerns regarding groundwater pollution.
The BioCRUDE Advantage
The added BioCRUDE reactant and/or fungal technology (enzymes) in conjunction with its processes, extends the range of degradable substrates. This leads to a lower viscosity with improved separation and a decreased application of flocculent. Besides that, there is a higher output of digester gas (up to 25 % more). The result is the improved profitability of a sewage sludge plant.
Undoubtedly composting and collection of biogas will be an important part of any waste management system. Composting of organic waste is a technology that has been shown to effectively address many of the problems associated with waste and manure management while providing reliable and usable by-products.
There are a variety of biogas processes, including covered lagoon digesters, complete mix digesters, and plug flow digesters. Choosing the appropriate system depends on many factors, such as weather conditions, waste collection techniques, waste storage capacity and a market for the by-products.
The principal reasons to consider the use of composting process include the following:
1. Generation of stable, high quality fertilizer and solid soil amendment
2. Reduction in odours
3. Reduction in ground and surface water contamination
4. Reduction in public health risk
Compost decomposition is the process by which organic nutrients are converted to plant-available inorganic forms. Soils regularly augmented with organic wastes will accumulate organic nutrients until they reach a steady-state condition, a concept useful for planning management strategies. Several factors affect decomposition rates, particularly temperature, so output varies throughout the year in a predictable pattern. An understanding of these patterns is necessary to match crop nutrient demands with plant-available nutrients in the soil.
There are four commonly used methods of composting: windrow, static aerated piles, within-vessel and air drying.
Decomposition rate is the key to the feasibility of the fertilizer production. Traditional methods achieve results after 12-36 weeks. However, BioCRUDE technologies have development a reactant and process that increases dramatically the decomposition rate thus obtaining high quality fertilizer to 4 weeks.
The BioCRUDE Advantage
BioCRUDE technologies have the capability to offer substantial advantages in the treatment of these types of organic waste. Continuing research and development have been focused on the development of processes and reactants to improve the process time and the yield of important by-products and energy resources.
The BioCRUDE reactants added to our optimized processes are the key to increase the efficiency in the decomposition process, achieving results in a short time period. The current technologies require 12 to 36 weeks to decompose the waste, while our process makes it possible to transform different types of organic waste into fertilizer in no more than 4 weeks.
The BioCRUDE Reactants are high performance products which, when mixed with a well-designed process, have been shown to effectively manage organic waste while yielding by-products and energy resources with significant financial and intangible value.
Applications of the Biogas Process
The Biogas technology has wide applications in both developing and developed countries. China is the world leader in implementing biogas digester based programs. In 1970, they constructed the first large-scale biogas plant including seven million digesters. This plant provided energy (from biogas) to approximately 25 million people.
Another major user of biogas digesters is India; where roughly 280 000 small-scale digesters were installed in 1985. For smaller applications, the forms of biomass used in anaerobic digesters can be animal manure, kitchen wastes, water hyacinths, human feces, and straw. There have been larger industrial countries where sizable digesters have been built, using input products such sewage sludge, municipal wastes, industrial organic-waste (e.g. food processing, dairy, brewing, paper, pulp, pharmaceutical, and alcohol production), and crop by-products (e.g. wheat and alfalfa). Additionally, the biogas generated from landfill is collected and used for energy generation.
Biogas process is a way to treat different types of waste in an environmental friendly way while having the additional benefit that it produces renewable energy.
The anaerobic digestion process is mainly utilized to treat four groups of waste:
1. Sludge produced during the aerobic treatment of municipal sewage. The biogas created during digestion process can partly cover the amount of energy consumed by the sewage treatment plant itself.
2. Wastewater generated from industry (e.g. food and fermentation industry) is treated in biogas plants before discharge into an aquatic environment or a sewage system. This type of wastewater contains a high concentration of pollutants; therefore it can not be discharged directly to the environmental surroundings. The biogas resulting from the treatment process can compensate in full the amount of energy the consumed directly by the process.
3. Animal manure is used as biomass in the biogas plant to generate energy and to improve the fertilizer quality. Anaerobic digestion of manure helps to remove the pathogens which may be present in the raw manure, thereby improving the quality of the fertilizers. This application of the process is increasing due to the restrictive rules concerning the usage, distribution and storage of manure.
4. Organic waste from households is utilized in the biogas plant for energy production. The goal is to reduce the amount of waste directed to landfills and incineration plants, and while utilizing the nutrients within this material for agricultural purposes. The energy yield of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) using anaerobic digestion process is 80-160 kWh/tonne of MSW. In comparison the energy yield of MSW using incineration is 450-500 kWh/tonne of MSW.
Anaerobic digestion is a biological process in which bacteria breaks down organic matter within an airless environment, with biogas as the end product. Biogas derived from bagasse waste is comprised of approximately 60% methane (CH4), 40% carbon dioxide (CO2), and trace amounts of other gases, including hydrogen sulfide (H2S).
Due to its high methane content, biogas can be used as a fuel for energy conversion devices. Alternatively, it can simply be flared, as the resulting carbon dioxide makes a lesser impact on global climate than methane.
Anaerobic digestion can occur within three different temperature ranges: psychrophilic, mesophilic, and thermophilic.
Psychrophilic digestion occurs at temperatures below 68°F and is usually associated with systems that operate at ground temperature. Psychrophilic digestion has the lowest biogas production rate of the three temperature ranges. Also, the production rate is susceptible to seasonal and diurnal fluctuations in temperature, making it difficult to predict how much biogas will be available.
The mesophilic temperature range is between 68°F and 105°F. The optimal temperature for mesophilic digestion is approximately 100°F. Digesters operating in the mesophilic range require constant heating in order to maintain a temperature of 100°F.
The thermophilic range is between 110°F and 160°F. The elevated temperature allows for the highest rate of biogas production and the lowest hydraulic retention time (HRT). The HRT is the amount of time material must remain in the digester before it is sufficiently processed. Digesters that operate in the thermophilic range require substantial amounts of energy to maintain the proper temperature and are prone to biological upset due to temperature fluctuations. To avoid upset, they require closer monitoring and maintenance. Another drawback is that the effluent is not odour free.
There is a variety of anaerobic digestion systems, choosing the appropriate system depends on many factors including local weather conditions, local water tables, organic waste collection techniques, storage capacity, and end use of the by-products.
The addition of the BioCRUDE fungal technology, based in hydrolytic enzymes, to a digester leads to an increased gas production up to 25 %. There is no additional significant investment or a change in the plant regime necessary for this enhancement. Besides an obvious decrease in the viscosity of the digester content, the shape of scum layers is restrained, and the whole process stabilized.
The main reasons of apply the BioCRUDE technology to the Biogas process are:
1. It is an effective method in the treatment of different types of waste (e.g. animals manure, household organic waste, waste from a food industry, sludge from wastewater treatment plants) in an environmentally friendly way.
2. A Biogas plant is the key element in reducing CO2 emissions by 50%. Applying Biogas technology will help to achieve the CO2 reduction target.
3. There is an improvement in the quality of fertilizers derived by digesting the raw manure which contains pathogens. These pathogens can be easily transferred to humans through agricultural products if the raw manure used directly on the field. Anaerobic digestion of animal manure improves the fertilizer quality from hygienic point of view. Additionally, the solid residuals from biogas plant (fertilizers) can be easily spread on the field after the completion of the digestion process.
4. Anaerobic digestion reduces the offensive odour of biomass, minimizing the nuisance from odour and flies.
5. Biogas plants create employment opportunities, especially in rural areas.
6. There is an expectation of achieving a potential reduction in the cost of biogas with continuous research and development. The goal is to make this technology profitable for the private sectors allowing the industry the take over and achieve further developments in this technology.
7. To increase the implementation of renewable energy use, especially after a decline in the oil production in this country. The aim is to make our systems self dependent, thereby being impacted in a smaller way by changes in oil prices.
8. The Biogas process is an economic technology to treat organic waste, as compared to other treatment processes such as landfill disposal and incineration. There is a measurable monetary cost reduction in treating organic waste with a digestion process.
9. Biogas technology can be combined with the separation technology for manure. This combination has advantages for both farmers and biogas plants. The purpose of separation of manure is to refine nutrients in a concentrated form.
Socio-economic analysis of biogas plant
1. Construction cost of biogas process is high and it is contributes significantly to the total cost of the plant. Therefore, constructing a biogas plant with high capacity will considerably reduce the cost of biogas. As a result, the higher the capacity of biogas plant, the lower the cost of biogas produced.
2. Transportation of biomass from source to biogas plant has a high contribution to the total cost of producing energy from this technology. The higher the capacity of biogas plant, the higher the transportation cost of biomass. In fact, transportation distance is higher for biogas plant with high capacity. However, the increase in the transportation cost is small compared to the savings in investment cost and biomass storage.
3. The suggested plan is to construct biogas plants with large capacity 800 tons of biomass/day in order to reduce the cost of biogas produced.
4. Biogas technology is not profitable from traditional economic point of view. In the other hand, biogas process is very attractive from the socio-economic point of view which includes externalities (e.g. environmental and agricultural impacts) in monetary terms. This conclusion supports the fact that the main reasons of applying biogas technology are to reduce the environmental impacts (e.g. groundwater pollution and GHG emission) and to increase the benefit in agricultural and industrial sectors. The externalities can be best internalised by regulations which forced the different actors (e.g. farmers, industry, energy producers …etc) to treat waste in environmental friendly way, reduce GHG emission and prevent pollution. This will create a strong interest in biogas technology because social welfare will become social duty.
5. R&D in biogas process is vital in order to perform further technological developments in this field. The aim is to increase the biogas yield and thereby reduce the cost. The cost can be reduced also by developing more effective and efficient pre-treatment processes which separate foreign materials (e.g. plastic bags and inorganic waste) from the digested biomass. Efficient separation process is important to increase the implementation of biogas plants in the future. For this reason, organic waste from household will be needed and this type of waste requires separation at the biogas plants.
The BioCRUDE Advantage
Based on this information, BioCRUDE Technologies has focused on research programs to develop biogas technology. BioCRUDE technology presents efficient, environment-friendly and economical solutions to waste reformation into renewable energy sources.
Urban centers suffer from nearly every woe that the BioCRUDE system addresses: organic waste and raw sewage disposal, pollution reduction, water purification, disease control, renewable energy sources, and a local power source for millions of off-grid households. Few products fit a market so exactly, and become available at exactly the time they are needed, but that is certainly the case here.
Biogas technology has many environmental, agricultural and industrial applications. It is a method to treat organic waste in environmental friendly way. As well, the energy production from biogas contributes to GHG reduction. From socio-economic point of view, biogas technology is profitable and promising technology due to its benefits for environment, agriculture and industry.
Some of the major advantages for the BioCRUDE Technology are:
1. Transformation of any type of organic waste (sewage sludge, solid manure, agricultural waste, etc.) into energy and marketable by-products.
2. Customized and optimized design of the chemical process to achieve a high efficiency, the engineering is modified and adapted to each scenario.
3. Optimized maintenance and operation costs, low investment costs for plant and mechanical devices.
4. Highly developed modern, systems and processes that are easy to control and operate.
5. Low process energy consumption (around 10% of the energy produced in the co-generation unit).
6. High, good quality gas yields
7. Additional income for waste disposers, municipalities, farmers.
8. Generation of a direct source of income in rural areas through highly valuable end products (electricity, heat, compost).
9. Potentially contribution to reducing fossil fuel consumption and combating climate change.
10. Operational diversity; the process may be used for small or large applications
11. Feedstock readily available locally
12. Feedstock does not need to be grown or transported
13. Perfect for applications in developing countries
14. No central grid required
15. The end products are renewable energy sources and/or saleable products
16. Allows greater independence for the small end user from expensive utilities or political issues that affect energy production costs
17. System variations available
18. Short processing time
19. Odour free
Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF)
The production of Refuse Derived Fuels involves the mechanical processing of household waste using screens, shredders and separators to recover recyclable materials and to produce a combustible product. Systems involve the removal of inert and compostable materials followed by pulverisation to produce a feedstock which can be incinerated in power stations.
1. Approximately 65% of Municipal Solid Waste is separated into a combustible material to enable further formation into high energy producing (RDF) Fuel Pellets. Fly Ash from the combustion of the RDF Pellets may be converted into concrete products.
2. Enables return of "clean" acceptable non-combustible material to EPA approved non-hazardous landfills (7%) resulting in extension of existing EPA approved landfill areas resulting in:
1. Considerable savings in equipment and fuel while utilizing manpower more effectively.
2. Eliminating the need for and travel to Transfer Stations
3. Reducing travel to Landfills by 90%
3. Pellets (RDF fuel) are stored for transporting to energy generating operations and "BURNED" as required and not necessarily to meet convenience of Mass Burn Incineration which requires greater floor space for daily storage of waste resulting in odors.
4. Eliminate the need to exhaust potential energy to atmosphere during Low or "Non-Demand" periods by creating desired Steam/Electric Energy as is required.
5. The separated (classified) combustible Municipal Solid Waste material can be combined with higher BTU additives, such as Ohio (high sulfur) Coal and vehicle tire stock, resulting in:
- An RDF Fuel having greater heat value;
- Minimizing additional disposal requirements;
- Assisting in employment continuity;
- Accomplishing above with equipment and a component system which meets EPA regulation standards.
- 7500 TO 8500 BTU/lb. Heat Value
- Low sulphur content (0.2%)
- Resultant Ash acceptable to EPA approved non-hazardous landfills or utilize in other recycled products and processes.
Incineration fully converts the input waste into energy and ash. Under controlled conditions, conversion could be deliberately limited so that combustion does not take place directly. Waste is converted into valuable intermediates that can be further processed for materials recycling or energy recovery
During gasification, thermal decomposition of organic materials takes place in the presence of a controlled limited supply of oxygen that it does not lead to combustion of the treated compounds. Main target for gasification is to convert organic compounds into a syngas that can be used in conjunction with gas engines/turbines. Conventional incineration used in conjunction with steam- boilers and turbine generators, achieves lower efficiency.
Pyrolysis is the decomposition of organic materials during heating, in an oxygen-free atmosphere, to produce gas, liquid and solid residuals. Decomposition products of the pyrolysis depend upon the heat, pressure and time the material is held within the vessel.
The pyrolysis technology does offer the scope for increasing recycling rates and to address environmental concerns, under the proviso that it is used for its prescribed intended purpose; handling of fuel (plastics, polymer based products, tyres, wood chips, ..) feedstocks.
Pyrolysis is a process that is relatively insensitive to its input material, but geared for plastics, polymer products and tyres. It can accept unsorted MSW (Municipal Solid Waste), dioxins and contaminated soils, but the economics of the outputs are QUESTIONABLE, relative to what energy could be extracted using alternate technological processes and direct energy inputs. By-products are gases, oil and carbonized materials (carbon black).
Ethanol fuel is an alternative from petroleum (fossil) based fuels, which is said to be better for the environment. It is manufactured from the distillation/fermentation of carbon based feed stocks such as starch and sugar crops -- maize, sweet sorghum, rice, potatoes, wheat, sugar beets, sugar-cane, even cornstalks, fruit and vegetable waste. Production of ethanol from cellulosic biomass such as corn leaves and stalks has the potential to augment the feedstocks in the existing industry and become the technology of the future for fuel ethanol production. Ethanol fuel can be combined with gasoline at different percentages, or can be used in its pure form as E100. The enzyme costs of converting cellulosic biomass into sugars for fuel ethanol production have been reduced approximately twenty-fold with newly developed technology.
A large variety of feedstocks are currently available for producing ethanol from cellulosic biomass. The materials being considered can be categorized as agricultural waste, forest residue, MSW, and energy crops. Agricultural waste available for ethanol conversion includes crop residues such as wheat straw, corn stover (leaves, stalks, and cobs), rice straw, and bagasse (sugar cane waste). Forestry waste includes underutilized wood and logging residues; rough, rotten, and salvable dead wood; and excess saplings and small trees. MSW contains some cellulosic materials, such as paper.
Energy crops, developed and grown specifically for fuel, include fast-growing trees, shrubs, and grasses such as hybrid poplars, willows, and switchgrass. Although the choice of feedstock for ethanol conversion is largely a cost issue, feedstock selection has also focused on environmental issues. Materials normally targeted for disposal include forest thinnings collected as part of an effort to improve forest health, MSW, and certain agricultural residues, such as rice straw. Although forest residues are not large in volume, they represent an opportunity to decrease the fire hazard associated with the dead wood present in many National Forests. Small quantities of forest thinning can be collected at relatively low cost, but collection costs rise rapidly as quantities increase.
Agricultural residues, in particular corn stover, represent a tremendous resource base for biomass ethanol production. Agricultural residues, in the long term, would be the sources of biomass that could support substantial growth of the ethanol industry. At conversion yields of around 60 to 100 gallons per dry ton, the available corn stover inventory would be sufficient to support 7 to 12 billion gallons of ethanol production per year, as compared with approximately 1.4 billion gallons of ethanol production from corn in 1998. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other appropriate entities must undertake rigorous research on the environmental effects of large-scale removal of crop residues.
The cost of agricultural residues is not nearly as sensitive to supply as is the cost of forest residues, although the availability of corn stover could be affected by a poor crop year. The relatively low rise in cost as a function of feedstock use is due to the relatively high density of material available that does not involve competition for farmland. In addition, the feedstock is located in the corn-processing belt, an area that has an established infrastructure for collecting and transporting agricultural materials. It is also located near existing grain ethanol plants, which could be expanded to produce ethanol from stover. Initially, locally available labor and residue collection equipment might have to be supplemented with labor and equipment brought in from other locations for residue harvesting and storage operations, if the plants involved are of sufficient scale.
Eventually, however, when the local collection infrastructure has been built up, costs would come down. Dedicated energy crops such as switchgrass, hybrid willow, and hybrid poplar are another long-term feedstock option.
The use of cellulosic biomass in the production of ethanol also has environmental benefits.
Converting cellulose to ethanol increases the net energy balance of ethanol compared to converting corn to ethanol. The net energy balance is calculated by subtracting the energy required to produce a gallon of ethanol from the energy contained in a gallon of ethanol (approximately 76,000 Btu).
Corn-based ethanol has a net energy balance of 20,000 to 25,000 Btu per gallon, whereas cellulosic ethanol has a net energy balance of more than 60,000 Btu per gallon. In addition, cellulosic ethanol use can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Argonne National Laboratory estimates that a 2-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle mile traveled is achieved when corn based ethanol is used in gasohol (E10), and that a 24- to 26-percent reduction is achieved when it is used in E85. Cellulosic ethanol can produce an 8- to 10-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when used in E10 and a 68- to 91-percent reduction when used in E85.
Depending on the feedstock and process design, ethanol production results in several by-products which may include crop residues, stillage, evaporator condensate, condensed solubles, spent cake and/or distillers grains, all of which have a high potential for methane production. Stillage, a residual of the distillation of ethanol from fermentation liquor, contains a high level of biodegradable COD as well as nutrients and has a high pollution potential. Up to 20 L of stillage may be generated for each liter of ethanol produced. Conversion of stillage to biogas and application of effluent to croplands results in a more sustainable ethanol production system.
Many ethanol plants minimize effluent discharges by evaporation of the stillage to produce evaporator condensate (used partially for make-up water) and condensed solubles. The evaporator condensate contains volatile fermentation products that can inhibit ethanol fermentation. Anaerobic digestion can remove these fermentation products and provide a liquid more suitable for process recycling. The distillers grains and condensed solubles are normally blended for use in animal feed as dried distillers grains and solubles (DDGS). However, the current rapid expansion of ethanol production could lead to saturation of the feed market with DDGS, affecting the sale value of this by-product. Thus, there is an opportunity for biogas production from these by-products to offset facility energy requirements. In cellulosic ethanol production, non-fermentable hydrolysis products can also be converted to methane. Finally, crop residues may also be harnessed for biogas production, which can greatly improve the energy yield from ethanol production.
Ethanol is a much cleaner fuel than petrol (gasoline):
1. It is a renewable fuel made from plants
2. It is not a fossil-fuel: manufacturing it and burning it does not increase the greenhouse effect
3. It provides high octane at low cost as an alternative to harmful fuel additives
4. Ethanol blends can be used in all petrol engines without modifications
5. Ethanol is biodegradable without harmful effects on the environment
6. It significantly reduces harmful exhaust emissions
7. Ethanol's high oxygen content reduces carbon monoxide levels more than any other oxygenate: by 25-30%, according to the US EPA
8. Ethanol blends dramatically reduce emissions of hydrocarbons, a major contributor to the depletion of the ozone layer
9. High-level ethanol blends reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 20%
10. Ethanol can reduce net carbon dioxide emissions by up to 100% on a full life-cycle basis
11. High-level ethanol blends can reduce emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) by 30% or more (VOCs are major sources of ground-level ozone formation)
12. As an octane enhancer, ethanol can cut emissions of cancer-causing benzene and butadiene by more than 50%
Sulphur dioxide and Particulate Matter (PM) emissions are significantly decreased with ethanol.
Ethanol has enjoyed some success as a renewable fuel, primarily as a gasoline volume extender and as an oxygenate for high-oxygen fuels, an oxygenate in RFG in some markets, and potentially as a fuel in flexible-fuel vehicles. A large part of its success has been the Federal ethanol subsidy. With the subsidy due to expire in 2008, however, it is not clear whether ethanol will continue to receive political support. Thus, the future of ethanol may depend on whether it can compete with crude oil on its own merits.
Ethanol costs could be reduced dramatically if efforts to produce ethanol from biomass are successful. Biomass feedstocks, including forest residue, agricultural residue, and energy crops, are abundant and relatively inexpensive, and they are expected to lower the cost of producing ethanol and provide stability to supply and price. In addition, the use of corn stover would lend continued support to the U.S. corn industry. Analysis of NREL technological goals for cellulose ethanol conversion suggests that ethanol could compete favourably with other gasoline additives without the benefit of a Federal subsidy if the goals were achieved. Enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose appears to have the most potential for achieving the goals, but substantial reductions in the cost of producing cellulase enzymes and improvements in the fermentation of non glucose sugars to ethanol still are needed. The ban on MTBE in California could provide additional incentives for the development of cellulose-based ethanol. If ethanol were used to replace MTBE in Federal RFG, demand for ethanol in California would increase by more than 550 million gallons per year. California has vast biomass resources that could support the additional demand. In addition, the cost of transporting Midwest ethanol would allow cellulosic ethanol to compete favourably in the market.
Ultimately, ethanol’s future in RFG could depend on whether Congress eliminates the minimum oxygen requirement included in the CAAA90. Without the minimum oxygen requirement, refiners would have more flexibility to meet RFG specifications with blending alternatives, such as alkylates, depending on an individual refinery’s configuration and market conditions. Ethanol would still be valuable as an octane booster, however, and could make up for some of the lost volume of MTBE.
Significant barriers to the success of cellulose-derived ethanol remain. For example, it may be difficult to create strains of genetically engineered yeast that are hardly enough to be used for ethanol production on a commercial scale. In addition, genetically modified organisms may have to be strictly contained. Other issues include the cost and mechanical difficulties associated with processing large amounts of wet solids. Proponents of biomass ethanol remain confident, however, that the process will succeed and low-cost ethanol will become a reality.
Biodiesel is defined as a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats. A “mono-alkyl ester” is the product of the reaction of a straight chain alcohol, such as methanol or ethanol, with a fat or oil (triglyceride) to form glycerol (glycerin) and the esters of long chain fatty acids.
Biodiesel is an alternative fuel formulated exclusively for diesel engines. A major application of the BioCRUDE Technology is to synthesize biodiesel from organic waste and manure. The focus for the R & D Department has been to optimize the process of obtaining the oil, designing an adequate transesterification procedure, and to evaluate the advantages and cost-benefits of production. It is important to stress that the BioCRUDE technology is a NEW alternative to obtaining biodiesel from vegetable oils, manure and animal fats. Although the individual processes have been used and tested in other research projects and universities, it is the MIX of processes that is innovative and unique to this product.
Biodiesel can be mixed with petroleum diesel in any percentage, from 1 to 99, which is represented by a number following a B. For example, B5 is 5 percent biodiesel with 95 percent petroleum, B20 is 20 percent biodiesel with 80 percent petroleum, or B100 is 100 percent biodiesel, no petroleum.
Biodiesel is normally produced from either virgin plant oils or waste vegetable oils through a catalytic transesterification process. The typical biodiesel production process uses an alkaline hydrolysis reaction to convert vegetable oil into biodiesel using methanol, potassium hydroxide, and heat. A transesterification reaction splits the glycerol group from the triglyceride oils, producing methyl esters (biodiesel) and glycerol by-product. To purify the biodiesel, a washing process is employed to remove soaps, free fatty acids and excess methanol, producing a washwater by-product. For every 100 L of oil, approximately 25 L of methanol and 0.8 kg of KOH/NaOH is consumed, yielding around 75 L of biodiesel and 25 L of crude glycerol. The washing process produces another 30 L of biodiesel washwater. Both the crude glycerol and the biodiesel washwater have significant methane production potential. When vegetable oil is pressed from seeds (or algae), there is also a press-cake by-product along with crop residues from harvesting that are both amenable to biogas production. Conversion of biodiesel by-products to methane offers a sustainable treatment solution, while also providing additional energy. Methane can also be converted to methanol, an ingredient used in biodiesel production. Also, digester effluent could be used to grow algae for biodiesel production.
Biodiesel is closer to being cost competitive with petroleum diesel, but the available supply of recycled oil from other applications will probably limit its use for biodiesel production. Unless alternatives such as the oil extraction from manure and waste make feasible oil prices decline dramatically. The largest market for biodiesel probably will be as a fuel additive. The ultra-low-sulfur diesel program will offer an opportunity for biodiesel as a lubricity additive and perhaps as a cetane booster as well. Biodiesel may also be marketed for applications in which reducing emissions of particulates and unburned hydrocarbons are paramount, such as school and transit buses.
1. Biodiesels are biodegradable.
2. They are non-toxic.
3. They have significantly fewer noxious emissions than petroleum-based diesel, when burned.
4. They are renewable.
5. With a much higher flash point than it is for petro-diesel (biodiesels have a flash point of about 160 °C), biodiesel is classified as a non-flammable liquid by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This property makes a vehicle fueled by pure biodiesel far safer in an accident than one powered by petroleum diesel or the explosively combustible gasoline.
6. Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel that runs in any conventional, unmodified diesel engine.
7. Biodiesel can be used alone or mixed in any ratio with petroleum diesel fuel. The most common blend however is a mix of 20% biodiesel with 80% petroleum diesel, or "B20."
8. Biodiesel is about 10% oxygen by weight and contains no sulfur. The lifecycle production and use of biodiesel produces approximately 80% less carbon dioxide emissions, and almost 100% less sulfur dioxide.
9. Combustion of biodiesel alone provides over 90% reduction in total unburned hydrocarbons, and a 75-90% reduction in aromatic hydrocarbons. When burned in a diesel engine, biodiesel replaces the exhaust odour of petroleum diesel with the pleasant smell of popcorn or french fries. Biodiesel further provides significant reductions in particulates and carbon monoxide than petroleum diesel fuel. Thus, biodiesel provides a 90% reduction in cancer risks.