Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 2741–2751

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Overview on the current trends in biodiesel production
N.N.A.N. Yusuf, S.K. Kamarudin ⇑, Z. Yaakub
Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t
The finite nature of fossil fuels necessitates consideration of alternative fuels from renewable sources. The term biofuel refers to liquid, gas and solid fuels predominantly produced from biomass. Biofuels include bioethanol, biomethanol, biodiesel and biohydrogen. Biodiesel, defined as the monoalkyl esters of vegetable oils or animal fats, is an attractive alternative fuel because it is environmentally friendly and can be synthesized from edible and non-edible oils. Here, we review the various methods for the production of biodiesel from vegetable oil, such as direct use and blending, microemulsion, pyrolysis and transesterification. The advantages and disadvantages of the different biodiesel-production methods are also discussed. Finally, we analyze the economics of biodiesel production using Malaysia as a case study. Ó 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 18 March 2010 Accepted 5 December 2010 Available online 29 March 2011 Keywords: Biodiesel Biofuel Economy

1. Introduction The world is currently facing the worst energy crisis in history. Many countries worldwide are still heavily dependent on petroleum as their main source of electricity and transportation fuel, and its price has been setting record highs in recent days. Thus, the only possible solution to this crisis is to find a sustainable (renewable) and economically feasible source of alternative energy. There are many alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass that fulfill the first criterion (sustainability). However, few of these can fulfill the second criterion (economic feasibility). The best option, fulfilling both criteria, is biofuel, particularly that made from readily available biomass feedstock [1–3]. Biomass refers to all the vegetable matter that can be obtained from photosynthesis. The great versatility of biomass as a feedstock is evident from the range of materials that can be converted into various solid, liquid and gaseous fuels using biological and thermochemical conversion processes. Biomass energy is by far the largest renewable energy source, representing 10.4% of the world’s total primary energy supply or 77.4% of global renewable energy supply [4]. The concept of using biofuels in diesel engines originated with the demonstration of the first diesel engine by its inventor, Rudolf Diesel, at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900, using peanut oil as the fuel. However, due to the then-abundant supply of petroleum diesel, research and development activities on vegetable-oil fuels were not seriously pursued. These fuels received attention only recently, when it was realized that petroleum fuels were fast dwindling and environmentally friendly renewable substitutes must be identified [5,6]. Biofuels are liquid or gaseous fuels for the
⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +60 389216422; fax: +60 389216148.
E-mail address: (S.K. Kamarudin). 0196-8904/$ - see front matter Ó 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2010.12.004

transport sector that are predominantly produced from biomass. Biofuels can be produced from a variety of bio-feedstocks, they are renewable, sustainable, biodegradable, carbon neutral for the whole life cycle and environmentally friendly; they encourage green industries and agriculture and are applicable as motor fuels, without or with slight engine modifications. Several biofuels, including bioethanol, biomethanol, biodiesel and biohydrogen, appear to be attractive options for the future of the transport sector. The production of biofuels is expected to rise steadily in the next few decades [7]. At present, several countries such Brazil, the United States, Germany, Australia, Italy and Austria are already using biofuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel. It is expected that this trend will continue to grow and more countries will use biofuels [8,9]. Bioethanol is an alternative fuel based on alcohol produced by the fermentation and distillation of raw materials with high sugars and starch contents. Besides these raw materials, ethanol can be obtained from lignocellulosic biomass from trees and some annual plants. Ethanol can be produced from any organic matter of biological origin with considerable amounts of sugars and/or materials that can be converted into sugar such as starch or cellulose. Sugarcane, sugar beetroot, and sugar sorghum are examples of raw materials with high sugar contents which thus can be used for ethanol production. Wheat, barley, and corn are raw materials containing starch, which can easily be converted into sugar using available technologies. A significant part of the woody part of trees and annuals is composed of cellulose, which can also be converted into sugar, but the process is more complicated than that required for starch [10]. Biomethanol is another alcohol fuel produced from biomass. A new study patented in Sweden concluded that methanol can be produced from biomass via black-liquor gasification at a cost competitive with gasoline and diesel [11]. A recent study on oil-palm

2. stored and handled using the same infrastructure. due to the similarity between biodiesel and conventional diesel in terms of chemical structure and energy content. For example. tert-butanol. Additionally. B5. the former is cheaper. additive (B5) and lubricity-additive (B2). butanol. Regarding their characteristics as fuels. propanol. particularly methanol and. photofermentations and dark fermentation [13]. Biodiesel can be pumped. more reactive and the fatty-acid methyl esters (FAME) produced are more volatile than fatty-acid ethyl esters (FAEE). Biodiesel is perfectly miscible with. devices and procedure usually employed for conventional diesel fuel. such as Pongamia pinnata (Karanja or Honge) [41–45]. It is these esters that have come to be known as biodiesel [15. known as the BXX nomenclature. Yusuf et al.A. but at present the black liquor is used to produce pulp and paper [12]. Regarding the choice between methanol and ethanol. However. is non-explosive. The B5 blend does not require any engine modification. Type of oil Non-edible oil Jatropha Rubber seed Castor Pongamia pinnata Sea mango Edible oil Soybean Palm Rapeseed Oil yield (kg oil/ha) 1590 80–120 1188 225–2250 N/A 375 5000 1000 Oil yield (wt. There are three types of microorganisms used for hydrogen generation: cyanobacteria. methanol is currently mainly produced from non-renewable fossil sources. FAME and FAEE show slight differences. Italy and Malaysia [3]. mineral diesel and so can be used in compression– ignition engines without significant or onerous adjustments [1. no modification of the diesel engine is required. Biohydrogen can be generated using bacteria such as Clostridia by controlling temperature.2 860–894 >457 420–450 470–600 <5 Insoluble in water Light to dark yellow. such as natural gas. In contrast. In fact. such as sodium or potassium hydroxide.16]. ethanol. Among all the biofuels. at 288 K) Boling-point range (K) Flash-point range (K) Distillation range (K) Vapor pressure (mm Hg. in contrast to petroleum diesel. and it significantly reduces toxic and other emissions when burned as a fuel.34–38] in Europe and corn oil [39. reactor hydraulic-retention time (HRT). Photosynthetic bacteria use organic substrates such as organic acids. handling and storage are safer than with conventional diesel [17]. Oil crops with higher oil yields are more preferable in the biodiesel industry because they can reduce the production cost. namely.N. Biodiesel is non-flammable and. and produces new chemical compounds called methyl esters. Common name Common chemical name Chemical formula range Kinematic viscosity range (mm2/s.10]. palm oil [28–33] in Malaysia.%) Seed: 35–40. anaerobic bacteria and fermentative bacteria. transportation.3–5.50] have also been found to be suitable for biodiesel production. for example. Biohydrogen can be generated by direct biophotolysis. Biodiesel Biodiesel is an alternative fuel for diesel engines produced by chemically reacting a vegetable oil or animal fat with an alcohol. pH. with a flash point of 423 K for biodiesel as compared to 337 K for petroleum diesel. clear liquid Light musty/soapy odor More biodegradable than petroleum diesel Stable. Non-edible vegetable oils. Various raw materials used as feedstock Vegetable oils are becoming a promising alternative to diesel fuel because they are renewable in nature and can be produced locally and in environmentally friendly ways. The physical properties of biodiesel are given in Table 1.. branched alcohols and octanol but the cost is much higher. Unlike petroleum diesel. 2.2742 N. e.g. International practice led to the adoption of a single nomenclature to identify the concentration of biodiesel in the blends. ethanol is less toxic and is considered more renewable because it can be easily produced from renewable sources by fermentation. and other operating parameters of the fermentation system. Table 2 shows the oil yields in terms of kg/ha and wt. rapeseed oil [26.40] have been used for biodiesel production and found to be good diesel substitutes [15].% and also the prices for various types of edible and Table 2 Oil yields for major non-edible and edible oil sources [2]. B2. where XX is the percentage in volume of the biodiesel in the diesel/biodiesel blend. at 313 K) Density range (kg/m3.44. as biodiesel does not produce explosive vapors and has a relatively high flash point (close to 150 °C). usually a strong base. The cyanobacteria directly decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen in the presence of light energy by photosynthesis. Currently. indirect biophotolysis. pure (B100). Anaerobic bacteria use organic substances as the sole source of electrons and energy. The blends in volumetric proportions between 5% and 20% are the most common. blends (B20–B30). as biodiesel is compatible with existing engine models and has been commercially blended with diesel as a transportation fuel in a number of countries including Germany. isopropanol. 5%. and also physically and chemically similar to.1. there are four main concentrations of biodiesel used in the fuel market. converting them into hydrogen. FAEE have slightly higher viscosities and slightly lower cloud and pour points than the corresponding FAME [14]. Edible vegetable oils such as canola [18–22] and soybean oil [23–27] in the USA. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 2741–2751 Table 1 Physical properties of biodiesel [1]. but avoid strong oxidizing agents biomass waste showed that black liquor can be produced from the trunk of the oil palm. to a lesser extent.46–48] and Madhuca iondica (Mahua) [49. Generally. Biological hydrogen-generation (biohydrogen) technologies provide a wide range of approaches to generate hydrogen and are potentially more environmentally friendly and less energy intensive than thermochemical or electrochemical processes.N. Biodiesel is a clear amber-yellow liquid with a viscosity similar to that of petroleum diesel. Other alcohols can also be used. at 295 K) Solubility in water Physical appearance Odor Biodegradability Reactivity Biodiesel Fatty acid (m)ethyl ester C14–C24 methyl esters or C15–25H28– 48O2 3. 20% and 100% biodiesel. biodiesel has been receiving perhaps the most attention. the cost of raw materials accounts for about 70–80% of the total production cost of biodiesel. Jatropha curcas (Jatropha or Ratanjyote) [43. The oil yield from the crop itself is always the key factor in deciding the suitability of a feedstock for biodiesel production. kernel: 50–60 40–50 53 30–40 54 20 20 37–50 Price (USD/ton) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 684 478 683 . B20 and B100 are fuels with a concentration of 2%. Alcohols are the most frequently used acyl acceptors. biodiesel is biodegradable and non-toxic. respectively. The reaction requires a catalyst.

However. and low flash point of vegetable oils Natural gums (phosphatides) and ash in vegetable oil Very low cetane of some oils. the viscosity was reduced to 11. The use of 2-octanol as an effective amphiphile in the micellar solubilization of methanol in triolein and soybean oil has been demonstrated. or of vegetable oils. Cold-weather starting 2.A. poor combustion at partial load High viscosity. free fatty-acid content. 2. Plugging and gumming of filters. 2. increase frequency of lubricating-oil changes. It has been proven that the use of 100% vegetable oil was also possible with some minor modifications to the fuel system. castor. clear or translucent. Thermal decomposition of triglycerides Potential solution Preheat fuel prior to injection.2. The high viscosity. lines and injector 3. and (iii) low volatility. chemically alter fuel to an ester Partially refine the oil to remove gums. These can be changed in at least four ways. the oil yield in P. From Table 2. The direct use of vegetable oils and/or the use of oil blends have generally been considered to be unsatisfactory and impractical for both direct and indirect diesel engines.2. switch engine to diesel when operating at part load. especially in those areas of the world that lack deposits of petroleum. Improper injection timing High viscosity of vegetable oil. water. animal fat. The reported engine tests on a microemulsion consisting of soybean oil:methanol:2-octanol:cetane improver (52. Pramanik [53] found that a 50% blend of Jatropha oil can be used in diesel engines without any major operational difficulties but further study is required to determine the long-term durability of the engine. with or without diesel fuels. mainly due to the increased viscosity. natural fatty acids or methyl esters of fatty acids. this value is far higher than other oils. which reduces nozzle coking. Jesus et al. The pyrolysis of fats has been investigated for more than 100 years. the influence of choice of co-surfactant on the structural parameters was also studied.2. The production of biodiesel Considerable efforts have been made to develop vegetable-oil derivatives that approximate the properties and performance of hydrocarbon-based diesel fuels. called a cosurfactant. poor combustion at partial load. dilution of engine-lubricating oil due to blow-by of vegetable oil Collection of poly-unsaturated vegetable oil blow-by in crank-case to the point where polymerization occurs Heat fuel prior to injection. Thermal cracking (pyrolysis) Pyrolysis is the conversion of one organic substance into another by means of heat or by heat in the presence of a catalyst. depending on many factors such as plantation type and oil-extraction technique [2]. The pyrolyzed material can be vegetable oil. chemically alter the vegetable oil to an ester. A blend of 20% oil and 80% diesel was found to be successful [52]. incomplete combustion of fuel. animal fat and other vegetable oils. as follows. which are only in the range of hundreds to 2000 kg of oil per hectare. Caterpillar Brazil Company used pre-combustion chamber engines with a mixture of 10% vegetable oil to maintain total power without any modification to the engine. (ii) low stability against oxidation (and the subsequent polymerization reactions). acid composition. Among the various non-edible oils shown in Table 2. 2.7:13. 2. pyrolysis and transesterification have been used as remedies to solve the problems encountered due to high fuel viscosity [54]. polymerization during storage and combustion.2. it is observed that palm oil has the highest oil yield at 5000 kg of oil per hectare.N. gum formation due to oxidation. filter to 4 lm Adjust injection timing. A microemulsion of methanol with vegetable oils can perform nearly as well as diesel fuels. [56] studied the phase behavior of a microemulsion and a bi-continuous phase was identified using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and freeze-fracture electron microscopy (FFEM).N. Direct use and blending Vegetable oil can be mixed with diesel fuel and used directly for running an engine. The successful experimental blending of vegetable oil with diesel fuel has been done by various researchers. Major Table 3 Problems and potential solutions for using vegetable oils as engine fuels [53]. jatropha has the highest yield. thermodynamically stable dispersions of oil. followed by P. The problems with substituting triglycerides for diesel fuels are mostly associated with their (i) high viscosity.N. Engine knocking Long-term 4. pinnata is not constant. In 1980. carbon deposits and lubricating-oil thickening are the obvious problems (see Table 3). [57] introduced the use of a microemulsion method for the determination of sodium and potassium in biodiesel using a water-in-oil emulsion process for biodiesel produced from different sources such as soybeans. Because of their alcohol contents. Excessive engine wear Probable cause problems have been associated with the use of pure vegetable oils as fuels in compression–ignition engines.2. Wellert et al. chemically alter fuel to an ester Heat fuel prior to injection. pinnata and castor.3:33. but these alcohols have high latent heats of vaporization and tend to cool the combustion chamber. surfactant. A diesel fleet was powered with a blend of 95% filtered used cooking oil and 5% diesel in 1982. Yusuf et al. an alcohol and a surfactant. Failure of enginelubricating oil due to polymerization . and often a small amphiphilic molecule. Coking of injectors and carbon deposits on piston and head of engine 5. Microemulsion Microemulsions are isotropic. Some of the costs of the non-edible oils were not obtained as they are not currently traded on the open market [2]. A microemulsion can be made of vegetable oils with an ester and dispersant (cosolvent). possibly free fatty acids in vegetable oil. Many investigators have studied the pyrolysis of triglycerides to obtain products suitable for diesel engines. preheat fuel prior to injection. The droplet diameters in microemulsions range from 100 to 1000 Å. low cetane. sunflower oil. chemically alter the vegetable oil to an ester High viscosity.3:1) indicated the accumulation of carbon around the orifices of the injector nozzles and heavy deposits on exhaust valves [55].3. which influences the formation of a relatively high amount of ash due to incomplete combustion [51]. Problem Short-term 1. incomplete combustion of fuel. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 2741–2751 2743 non-edible oils grown worldwide. switch engine to diesel when operating at partial load. lubricating-oil additives to inhibit oxidation 6.1.2 cSt at 25 °C. It is clear that higher oil yield always corresponds to lower cost. Micro-emulsification. microemulsions have lower volumetric heating values than diesel fuels.

/ Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 2741–2751 produces alkanes. This reaction is operated at 55–80 °C. The time needed for the mass transfer to occur is shortened as temperature is increased. These reactions are operated at 25–125 °C.3. The reaction is similar to the alkaline reaction but the alcohol reactants are fed in excess in order to increase the conversion rate. alcoholysis and acidolysis reactions. Figs.64]. 1–3 represent the different transesterification reactions.68]. The other type of reaction for transesterification is enzymatic. aromatics and carboxylic acids [53. Their study illustrated that while the overall conversion of the process did not change with temperature.75% biodiesel [66]. The advantage of this reaction is the ease of product separation. The risks of handling.1. Yusuf et al. Fig. Among the alcohols. methanol and ethanol are used commercially because of their low cost and their physical and chemical advantages. 3 presents the production of biodiesel via a supercritical reaction with alcohol. Transesterification Transesterification is a process of reacting a triglyceride such as vegetable oil with an alcohol in the presence of an alkaline catalyst to produce fatty-acid esters and glycerol. Fig. Table 4 summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of the different transesterification reactions.N. Darnoko and Cheryan [62] studied the kinetics of palm-oil transesterification in a batch reactor. The commonly used catalysts are sodium and potassium hydroxides. 1. Biodiesel is safe to handle and transport because it is as biodegradable as sugar and has a high flash point compared to petroleum diesel fuel.2.N. They are easily dissolved in and react quickly with tri-glycerides and NaOH. or B20 in recent scientific investigations. Advantages of biodiesel 2. Biodiesel can be used alone or mixed in any ratio with petroleum diesel fuel. 2.4. Sodium and potassium methoxide are much more effective catalysts for the base-catalyzed transesterification of triglycerides [58–61].2744 N.2. 2. alkenes. however.3. however. The most common blend is a mix of 20% biodiesel with 80% petroleum diesel. Availability and renewability of biodiesel Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel with the property that lowconcentration biofuel–petroleum fuel blends will run well in unmodified conventional engines. rapeseed and sunflower. for future commercial applications in Europe the current regulation foresees a maximum of 5. 1 shows the production of biodiesel via an alkaline catalyst. alkadienes. Production of biodiesel via alkaline catalysis. Lower emissions from biodiesel The European Transportation Policy for 2010 created by the European White Paper Commission projects an increase in carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles of about 50% from the years 2000 Fig. A catalyst is used to improve the reaction rate and yield. transporting and storing biodiesel are much lower than those associated with petroleum diesel. 2. Based on the rate constants obtained. the cost of the biocatalyst is very expensive compared to other catalysts and so it is not yet a viable process for commercial biodiesel production. An alkaline-catalyzed transesterification process is normally adopted for biodiesel production because alkaline metal alkoxides and hydroxides are more effective than acid catalysts. leading to a higher rate of transesterification at higher temperatures. 2 presents the production of biodiesel using an acid catalyst.3. Lastly. monoglycerides and alcohol esters. Fig. The overall reaction kinetics is dependent on the individual rate constants for the conversion of triglycerides to diglycerides. using lipase in hydrolysis. renewable oilseed crops such as soybean. the conversion of triglycerides to diglycerides was the slowest reaction in transesterification. Biodiesel can be made from domestically produced. However the operating temperature is very high. This reaction uses methanol as alcohol and is capable of producing high conversions in a short period of time. It can be stored anywhere petroleum diesel fuel is stored.A. around 350 °C [63. the rate of the transesterification process was increased with temperature. .

Yusuf et al.N.N. Technique Acidic-catalyst transesterification Alkaline-catalyst transesterification Lipase-catalyst transesterification Biodiesel (%) 99% after 4 h of reaction 99% after 2 h of reaction 95% after 105 h of reaction Advantage High production of biodiesel High and rapid production of biodiesel in a short period of time Can be operated at room temperature Disadvantage Acidic catalyst Formation of calcium foam at initial stage of transesterification Slow reaction . 2. Production of biodiesel via acidic catalysis.N. Fig.A. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 2741–2751 2745 Fig. Table 4 Comparison of transesterification reactions [65]. 3. Production of biodiesel via supercritical-alcohol transesterification.

Biodegradable fuels such as biodiesels have an expanding range of potential applications and are environmentally friendly. 2. and fuelling in the first part of the injection should be reduced to reduce NOx emission.A. and therefore it is environmentally useful. Exhaust-gas recirculation is not free from demerits. leading to an increased level of quick biodegradation [72]. [77] studied a single-cylinder engine fueled with various types of vegetable oils. The CN of biodiesel from animal fats is higher than those of vegetable oils [76]. Vegetable-oil methyl esters are reported to be non-toxic and easily biodegradable in an aquatic environment. Biodiesel mainly emits carbon monoxide.006–0. Biodiesel provides a slight increase or decrease in nitrogen oxides depending on engine family and testing procedures [66]. carbon dioxide. there is growing interest in degradable diesel fuels that degrade more rapidly than conventional petroleum fuels. 2. The structural oxygen content of a fuel improves combustion efficiency due to the increase of the homogeneity of oxygen with the fuel during combustion. CN is measured by the ISO 5156 test method. the fuelling in the last part of the injection should be lowered to reduce smoke emissions. The best potential future energy source in the transportation sector is biodiesel.2–40. sulfur oxides and smoke. It was determined that during a 21-day period. It is related to the ignition-delay time and combustion quality. Simultaneously. The longer the fatty-acid carbon chains and the more saturated the molecules are. The maximum power differences between the reference Table 5 Comparison of chemical properties and higher heating values (HHVs) of biodiesel and petroleum–diesel fuels [63]. Also. Biodiesel is non-toxic and degrades about four times faster than petroleum diesel. Biodiesel further provides significant reductions in particulates and carbon monoxide over petroleum diesel fuel. [74] reported more than 98% degradation of pure biodiesel after 28 days in comparison to 50% and 56% for diesel fuel and gasoline respectively. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.%) Sulfur (wt. A visual inspection of the injector types would indicate no difference between the biodiesel fuels when tested on petroleum diesel. Exhaustgas recirculation was shown to be an effective method for NOx control. This test method is recommended for diesel and biodiesel and the passing limits are 46 and 51. 98% of pure rapeseed oil methyl ester (RME) was biologically decomposed.036 0. a higher cetane number indicates better ignition properties [16]. This is very important to reduce wear in the engine and the injection system [69].020 0. sulfates.002–0. Currently. while only 60% of pure fossil diesel fuel decomposed.002–0. The cetane number of biodiesel from various sources has been estimated to vary from 48 (grape biodiesel) to 61 (palm biodiesel) [75].2746 N. the time taken to reach 50% biodegradation was reduced from 28 to 22 days in 5% biodiesel mixture and from 28 to 16 days in the case of a 20% biodiesel mixture at room temperature.010 0. When recirculated to the engine inlet. the higher the CN is. oxides of nitrogen. Its oxygen content improves the biodegradation process.%) Nitrogen (wt. The engine was operated at 1300 rpm and a torque of 35 Nm. Engine-performance evaluation using biodiesel Cetane number (CN) is widely used as a diesel–fuel quality parameter. it presents a convenient way to provide fuel while protecting the environment from unwanted emissions.0001–0. the net emission of CO2 was considerably lower than that of diesel oil. raw soybean oil and opium-poppy oil fuels.6 Diesel 0.N.1–45.050 0.3.003 28–38 0 45. Therefore. petroleum diesel (43 MJ/kg) or petroleum (42 MJ/kg). However.%) Iodine number HHV (MJ/kg) Biodiesel (methyl ester) 0. Biodegradability of biodiesel The biodegradability of biodiesel has been proposed as a solution for the waste problem. Petroleum diesel–fuel performance was used as a reference. and the combustion efficiency of methanol/ethanol is higher than that of gasoline. The exhaust gases mainly consist of inert carbon dioxide and nitrogen and possess a high specific heat. respectively. global warming caused by CO2 is the main climatic problem in the world. The observed maximum torque differences between the reference value and peak values of the vegetable-oil fuels were about 10% with raw sunflower oil. Combustion of biodiesel alone provides over a 90% reduction in total unburned hydrocarbons (HC) and a 75–90% reduction in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). the combustion efficiency of biodiesel is higher than petroleum diesel. Chemical property Ash (wt. Due to this.4. [69] investigated the emission of unburned hydrocarbons. The HHVs of biodiesels (39–41 MJ/kg) are slightly lower than that of gasoline (46 MJ/kg). Biodiesel is an ecological and non-hazardous fuel with low emission values. It can significantly increase smoke and fuel consumption and reduce thermal efficiency unless suitably optimized.6 . The CN of biodiesel is generally higher than for conventional diesel.020–0.%) Aromatics (vol. Carraretto et al. Table 5 shows a comparison of the chemical properties and HHVs of biodiesel and petroleum–diesel fuels. The use of biodiesel can extend the life of diesel engines because it is more lubricating than petroleum diesel fuel. Kegl [70] stressed the importance of fuel-injection system to reduce engine emissions as well as fuel consumption. This process reduces oxygen concentration and peak combustion temperature. Demirbas [68] stated that the oxygen content of biodiesel improves the combustion process and decreases its oxidation potential. there are reports of the theoretical estimation of cetane numbers without running extensive engine tests. Yusuf et al. Therefore.007 0 65–156 39. The author suggested that pressure squareness (ratio of mean to maximum injection pressure) should be at a maximum. they reduce oxygen concentration and act as a heat sink.3. The biodegradability of the mixture was reported to increase with the addition of biodiesel. Biodiesel contains 11% oxygen by weight and contains no sulfur. Because biodiesel is made from renewable sources. This means that RME fully meets the main requirements of international standards for biological degradation (more than 90% degraded within 21 days for biofuels) [73].006–0.5. 2. in particular very-low-sulfur diesel. nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and particulate matter from biodiesel.3. Altın et al. Pradeep and Sharma [71] studied the use of hot-exhaust-gas recirculation for the control oxides of nitrogen in a compression– ignition engine fuelled with biodiesel from Jatropha oil. environmental protection is important for the future of the world. but higher than coal (32–37 MJ/kg). carbon dioxide. carbon monoxide. which results in reduced NOx.N. Using biodiesel as an alternative fuel is a way to minimize global air pollution and in particular reduce the emission levels of potential or probable carcinogens [68]. The results obtained gave a very good comparison of engine performance when various vegetable oils are used as fuel. Higher lubricity Biodiesel has good lubricant properties compared to petroleum diesel oil.3. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 2741–2751 to 2010. The overall injector coking is considerably low. The White Paper states that the only way around this problem is to develop clean alternative fuels so that the greenhouse effects can be decreased [67]. Pasqualino et al. The higher heating values (HHVs) of biodiesels are relatively high.

higher copper-strip corrosion and fuel-pumping difficulty due to the higher viscosity. Maximum CO2 emissions were about 10.% – ASTM D6751 (biodiesel. This increases fuel consumption when biodiesel is used. in direct proportion to the share of the biodiesel content.05 max wt. NOx formation is related to maximum combustion temperature. Relatively low CO emissions were obtained with the esters in comparison with raw vegetable oils. Eventually.N. The low-temperature properties are very critical for the use of biofuels in aviation applications. pour point and CFPP. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 2741–2751 2747 value and peak values of the vegetable-oil fuels were about 18% with raw cottonseed oil and raw soybean oil.% 1. 2. The higher specific fuel-consumption values of vegetable oils are due to their lower energy contents. is its poor low-temperature flow properties. The minimum torque and power difference was about 3% between the reference value and the oils. this may lead to the depletion of edible-oil supply worldwide. 3 max 47 min – 0.% Copper-strip corrosion Cetane number Aromaticity Carbon residue Carbon residue Distillation temp. Future conditions for an international biofuel market in Europe will largely be decided by the European Union (EU) . engine compatibility. with the implementation of biodiesel as a substitute fuel for petroleum-derived diesel oil. As more than 95% of biodiesel is made from edible oil.% 0. while B50 led to an increase of 4.05 max wt. B100) 403 K 0. Acceleration tests indicated that maximum engine-power output depended on the biodiesel content in the fuel and decreased as the biodiesel concentration increased.05 max vol. By converting edible oils into biodiesel. EEB. higher nitrogen-oxides (NOx) emissions. Arable land that would otherwise have been used to grow food would instead be used to grow fuel [80]. Yusuf et al. Furthermore.1%. Fig. Important operating disadvantages of biodiesel in comparison with petroleum diesel include cold-start problems. Taking into account the higher production costs of biodiesel compared to petroleum diesel. 4 shows the trend in global vegetable-oil blending stocks due to the production of biodiesel in the years 1991–2010 [2].% 1. This was due to the better spraying qualities and more uniform mixture preparation of these esters.% – 0. The greater smoke-opacity percentages of the vegetable-oil fuels were mainly due to the contents of heavier hydrocarbon molecules.9–6. lower energy content. 3 max 40 min 35 max vol. especially deforestation and the destruction of ecosystems.35 max mass% 555 K min– 611 K max No. the blending stocks of vegetable oils are continuously decreasing due to increasing production of biodiesel. in comparison with pure petroleum diesel and in blends.3–4. The opacity values of methyl esters were between those of diesel fuel and raw vegetable-oil fuels. Property Flash point Water and sediment Kinematic viscosity (at 313 K) Sulfated ash Ash Sulfur Sulfur Test method D 93 D 2709 D 445 D 874 D 482 D 5453 D 2622/ 129 D 130 D 613 D 1319 D 4530 D 524 D 1160 ASTM D975 (petroleum diesel) 325 K min 0. there have been many claims that this may give rise to further economic problems. the combustion efficiency and maximum combustion temperatures with each of the vegetable oils were lower and NOx emissions were reduced. measured in terms of cloud point. Smoke-opacity percentages during each of the vegetable-oil operations were greater than that with petroleum diesel fuel. Indonesia and Brazil because more and more forest has been cleared for plantation purposes. the line between food and fuel economies is blurred as both of the fields are competing for the same oil resources. this increase in fuel consumption compounds the overall increased cost of application of biodiesel as an alternative to petroleum diesel [63]. It is believed that large-scale production of biodiesel from edible oils may bring about a global Table 6 ASTM standards of biodiesel and petroleum–diesel fuels.% – – 0. especially that prepared from palm oil. It was observed that with pure biodiesel the acceleration time increased by approximately 8% compared to the baseline petroleum diesel fuel.05 max mass% – – Fig.A.4. Table 6 shows the ASTM fuel standards for biodiesel and petroleum-diesel fuels. 4.02 max wt.0 mm2/s 0. Specific fuel-consumption values of methyl esters were generally less than those of the raw oil fuels. Recently. Global vegetable-oil blending stock and biodiesel production [2]. Other major disadvantages of biodiesel are its higher viscosity. imbalance in the food supply-and-demand market. The low-temperature properties can be improved by blending with biodiesel from unsaturated feedstocks [79]. 3. claimed that the expansion of oilcrop plantations for biodiesel production on a large scale has caused deforestation in countries such as Malaysia. NOx emissions with vegetable-oil fuels were lower than those with petroleum diesel fuel and the NOx values of the methyl esters were higher than those of the raw fuels. food resources are being used as automotive fuels. These differences were expected due to the lower energy content of the blends. the lower energy content. Poorer atomization may also explain reductions in maximum engine-power output [78]. (90% volume recycle) No. high price and higher engine wear. There has been significant expansion in the plantation of oil crops for biodiesel in the past few years in order to fulfill the continuously increasing demand for biodiesel.N. biodiesel is competing with the food industry for limited land availability for the plantation of oil crops. Disadvantages of biodiesel The main problem associated with the use of biodiesel. Current trends in biodiesel The international biofuel market is still at an early and very dynamic stage. lower engine speed and power.5% with petroleum diesel fuel and slightly lower with vegetable oil. environmentalists have cited the negative impact on the planet of biodiesel production from edible oils.1 mm2/s – 0.N. These results may be due to the higher viscosity and lower heating values of vegetable oils. The specific fuel consumption of petroleum diesel was very low in comparison with all vegetable oils and their esters. injector coking. As the injected particle size of the vegetable oils was greater than with petroleum diesel fuel. Although there is continuous increase in the production of vegetable oil.01 max wt. In other words.05 max vol.

4 40. Austria and Sweden [68].3 213. will reduce the dependence on imported fuel sources. the biofuel trade seems to be a plausible scenario for Europe.6 12. European research and testing indicate that.8 41. Petroleum is the main source of energy. with three quarters of this area established in developing countries [84].6 RMKe-9 6. France. 5. as mentioned previously.2748 N.7 661.9 350. using domestic renewable resources [65].7 3.4 6.7 1631. The biomass-intensive future energy-supply scenario includes 385 million hectares of biomass-energy plantations globally in 2050.7 Percentage of the total 2000 38. which ranged from 2000 to 2005. Italy.0 8.7 2005 630.8 0.0 2010 61. Biodiesel has become more attractive recently because of its environmental benefits. In the term of the 8th National plan of Malaysia. petroleum and natural gas are at the verge of becoming extinct.0 420. the United States is expected to become the world’s largest single biodiesel market.7 2005 1023. Germany produced 1.0 0. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 2741–2751 policies on renewable energy and their interplay with national energy policies. Specific legislation to promote and regulate the use of biodiesel is in force in Germany.4 1243.75% of transportation-fuel needs with biofuels in all member states by 2010. Table 7a Final demand of commercial energy by source.4 41.5 13.6 6.9 GJ in the year 2000 to 6. The industrial sector comprises 38% of the total demand while domestic and other sources account for about 13.0 4.1 7.7 2010 1372. the demand for fossil fuel is increasing continuously.1 0. Fig. or HC. The energy intensity increased from 5. the United States.6 310.5 100.0 2217. PAH and nitrated PAH emissions.1%. 2000–2010 [65].0 2005 62. accounting for 40. Demand for energy is increasing every day due to the rapid growth of population and urbanization. However.9 billion liters or more than half the world total. Emissions of nitrogen oxides increase with the concentration of biodiesel in the fuel.9 6. World biodiesel capacity. Source Petajoules 2000 Industrial Transportation Residential and commercial Agricultural Total 477.9 2010 859.0 2005 38.0 3.1 19. In that context.6 6. Many countries have adopted various policy initiatives.2 100.6 13. Malaysia is predicted to become a net importer of fossil fuels by the year 2015. In Germany biodiesel is also sold at a lower Fig. Source Petajoules 2000 Petroleum products Natural gas Electricity Coal Total 820.0 52. Other countries with significant biodiesel markets in 2005 included France. biodiesel can replace petroleum diesel.3 7.9 15. to biodiesel. carbon monoxide.3 6.5 162. 5 shows the world biodiesel capacity between 1991 and 2010.5 5. All other countries combined accounted for only 11% of world biodiesel consumption in 2005.1 4.9 Percentage of the total 2000 65.6 5.4 100. while the soluble. 2000–2010 [65]. The cost of biodiesel. So far. however.2 GJ in the year 2005.1 12.8 100. The use of biodiesel decreases the solid-carbon fraction of PM and reduces the sulfate fraction. biomass can be considered as one of the promising environmentally friendly renewable energy options [13].4 100. biodiesel is by far the biggest biofuel and represents 82% of the biofuel production.9 911.7 284.0 Average annual growth rate (%) RMKe-8 5. the demand for energy in the commercial sector increased from 1244 PJ to 1632 PJ. Some biodiesel produces more nitrogen oxides than others. From Table 7b. and.A. Based on these figures. when used as a diesel fuel substitute. The potential future use of biodiesel in the transportation sector necessitates a shift in the current energy supply from petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel. followed by Germany.8 220.N.9 5. the Commission has indicated that biomass will play an important role in the future.0 161.5 8. the introduction of alternative fuels such as hydrogen.0 2010 38.6 RMKe-9 6. as shown in Table 7a.0 15. Yusuf et al. 1991–2010 [82]. Italy and Brazil. In February 2006. It is likely that novel trade flows will appear and disappear as this new fuel market evolves [81]. In the EU.0 2217. New and large single markets for biodiesel are expected to emerge in China.N. the European Union set the goal of fulfilling 5. The increasing demand for natural gas (7–9%) parallels the policy of fuelsource diversity.5% of the total energy demand in the commercial sector in the 2005. As the major conventional energy resources such as coal.0 Average annual growth rate (%) RMKe-8 4.0 75.3 .4 100. and some additives have shown promise in moderating the increases.9 13. fraction stays the same or increases.0 1631. Biodiesel is treated like any other vehicle fuel in the UK.8 7.6 505.0 17.3 Table 7b Final demand of commercial energy by sector. price than fossil diesel fuel. it can also be observed that the transportation sector is the primary energy consumer in Malaysia. the percentage from other energy sources is very low (4–6%). Biodiesel reduces carbon dioxide. is the main obstacle to commercialization of the product.9 3.7 15.9 16. Based on a study conducted by the 9th National Plan of Malaysia.5 1243. accounting for roughly 18% of world biodiesel consumption.7 5. Malaysia is capable of generating its own alternative fuels. By 2010. ethanol and biodiesel.1 246.6 43.8 18. India and Brazil [83].

Generally. Biodiesel has sold for over twice the price of petroleum diesel. The estimated theoretical production cost for rapeseed biodiesel is US$1035/tonne and US$840 for soybean biodiesel. Palm biodiesel from Malaysia is still competitively priced although this estimate does not consider any potential excise nor import duty that could be imposed by the EU member-states on palm methyl ester. 3. Biodiesel is better than diesel fuel in terms of sulfur content. Inter-regional and international biofuel trade is also a likely consequence of the growing use of biomass energy. rapeseed and soybean oils. notably in Brazil. At the moment. sulfur oxide. The competitiveness of biodiesel versus petroleum diesel depends greatly on fuel-taxation approaches and levels.A. biodiesel and biohydrogen appear to be attractive options for the future transport sector. based on a three-month average up to January. with corn as the primary feedstock. In 2004. Cost component (US$/ ton) Palm oil from Malaysia 547 47 35 55 Rapeseed oil from the EU 800 – – – Soybean oil from the US 601 – – – Feedstock (FOB at producing country) Biodiesel production cost: Solvents. resulting in much lower emissions of almost every pollutant: carbon dioxide. international freight and domestic distribution charges. Yusuf et al.4 billion gallons of fuel ethanol were produced from over 10% of the corn crop. electricity and transportation fuels are potentially carbon dioxide neutral and recycle the same carbon atoms. In addition.5–3 times higher than the fossil diesel cost in developed countries. Biofuels including bioethanol. Economic analysis One of the main limiting factors for the market diffusion of biodiesel is the high economic cost of production compared to petroleum diesel oil. methanol and catalyst. Rabobank [85] estimates that the price of palm biodiesel in the EU – if produced in Malaysia – will be about US$784–804/ton (Table 8). The competitiveness of biodiesel relies on the prices of biomass feedstock and costs as well as the conversion technology [63]. Biodiesel is becoming of interest to companies for commercial-scale production as well as the more usual ‘‘home-brew’’ biodiesel user and the user of straight vegetable oil or waste vegetable oil in diesel engines. the promotion of biodiesel is justified by the fact that the global emission of CO2 is greatly reduced and that the net energy yield is positive. Currently. variability in crop production from season to season. Therefore. Biodiesel is much less polluting than petroleum diesel. flash point. Biodiesel is more expensive than petroleum diesel.N.000 ton/annum. particulates. biodiesel is not competitive to petroleum diesel under current economic conditions. Biodiesel does. acids and chemicals Other costs Adjustment for energy parity with petroleum diesel (based on 90% of kJ/kg of energy of petrol–diesel) Total Cost of biodiesel Estimated freight and insurance cost to Rotterdam Total cost in EU Local distribution (approximation) Total cost at petrol kiosk in EU Price of retail biodiesel (Germany)a 137 684 70 754 30–50 784–804 1322 196 996 – 996 30–50 1029–1046 150 751 50 801 30–50 831–851 Assuming production plant with capacity > 100. Table 8 Comparison of estimated costs for producing biodiesel from palm. Biodiesel is commercially available in most oilseed-producing countries. The price of the feedstock will become a more important factor as it represents 80% of the cost of biodiesel production. carbon monoxide. The United States has used ethanol produced from maize (corn) in fuel blends since the 1980s. These figures are based on the average prices of each vegetable oil. Due to the widespread availability of biomass resources. Ethanol is a well-established biofuel for transport and industry sectors in several countries. 5. The high price of biodiesel is in large part due to the high price of the feedstock. There are currently two global biomass-based liquid transportation fuels that might replace gasoline and diesel fuel. / Energy Conversion and Management 52 (2011) 2741–2751 2749 The large-scale use of biomass energy in the EU would be facilitated by a European market for biofuels. Transport is one of the main energy-consuming sectors. new technologies must be moved from the laboratory to commercial reality [82]. In some countries. Even at current vegetable oil prices this is an advantage for palm oil which trades at a considerable discount compared to rapeseed oil and soybean oil. defined as the monoalkyl esters of fatty acids derived from vegetable oil or animal fat. Other important costs are labor. The availability of resources is an important factor in cogenerative use of biofuel in the electricity. air toxics and unburned hydrocarbons. although it is still commonly produced in relatively small quantities (in comparison to petroleum products and ethanol). About 60% of current world ethanol production is from sugarcrop feedstocks. but currently biodiesel cost is 1. including a reduction of exhaust emissions. totaled 2821 million gallons in 2003 and is projected to increase to 4544 million gallons in 2025. there is a mounting interest in the biofuel trade in Europe [81]. Biodiesel is a technologically feasible alternative to petroleum diesel. It is assumed that biodiesel will be used as a fossil diesel replacement and that bioethanol used as a gasoline replacement. biomethanol. aromatic content and biodegradability. was US$1332/ton. including an approximately 20% cost of production. Biodiesel. bioethanol and biodiesel. the price of crude petroleum and other factors. a FO Licht based on UFOP Marktinformation (three-month average retail prices from November 2006 to January 2007). Conclusions The term biofuel refers to liquid or gaseous fuels for the transport sector that are predominantly produced from biomass. Nevertheless. Kartha and Larson [84] reported that various scenarios have been proposed in estimating the yields of biofuels from biomass sources in the future energy system. other figures based on pricing as of March 2007. Biomass-based energy sources for heat. the cost of biodiesel is competitive only when excise tax is not applied. heat or liquid-fuel market. filling stations sell biodiesel more cheaply than conventional diesel. the production costs of biodiesel remain much higher than for petroleum diesel. The reported consumer biodiesel price in Germany. The United States ethanol production. opportunities for biomass-based fuel technology will potentially employ more people than current fossil-fuel based technology. has demonstrated a number of promising characteristics in applications as an extender for combustion in compression–ignition engines (CIEs). This could be a key solution to reduce urban pollution [69]. which is about 80% of the total operating cost. Ethanol demand is expected to more than double in the next ten years. which would increase the Union’s total use of biomass energy. The cost of biodiesel fuels varies depending on the base stock. .N. the use of biodiesel involves an appreciable reduction of some emitted pollutants.N. 4. For the supply to be available to meet this demand. Regions rich in biomass resources could become net exporters of biofuels to regions with fewer opportunities for biofuel production. geographic area. The major economic factor to consider for the input costs of biodiesel production is the feedstock.

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