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Chapter 3 Biomass

Section Topics Biomass: Past and Future Biomass for Electricity Generation History of BioEthanol BioEthanol as a Motor Vehicle Fuel

Historical and Current Role of Biomass


Biomass contributed nearly 100% of energy consumption prior to the industrial revolution and made up 90% of energy consumption in 1850 with coal contributing 10% By 1900, biomass contributed about 50% with coal making up most of the remainder with a small contribution from natural gas and oil

Biomass contributes about 10% to total energy consumption today equal to nuclear and hydro power combined
Most of this is wood, crop residue, and dung used extensively in third world nations and areas not connected to the electricity grid One-third of world population relies on biomass, not electricity Some African nations 70-90% reliant on biomass, India 60% reliant, China 20% reliant

Biomass recycles carbon dioxide whereas fossil fuels emit carbon dioxide stored up in plants eons ago Biomass emits less sulfur and nitrous oxides (SOX and NOX) than coal Smoke is a dangerous pollutant
4

Animal dung is preferred for baking bread as it burns for a long time giving off a constant rate of energy
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Biomass Consumption by Region (Note importance of developed countries)

Finland and northern Germany use waste from making lumber to produce electricity

Austria and Sweden have active programs to substitute biomass for fossil fuels in generating electricity

Houses in rural areas of U.S. Northeast are heated by burning wood in special burners that are heat efficient compared to the heat inefficiency of a fireplace

Smoke from stoves indoors major health problem cause of death of thousands of infants plus lung problems for adults

Greater efficiency means less smoke plus less demand on biomass in areas where there is deforestation or in semi-arid areas such as sub-Saharan Africa where animal dung and tree limbs are becoming scarce But in these areas, who can afford modern appliances?

The European Renewable Energy Council projects enormous additions to hydro, geothermal, wind and solar in the coming decades, which along with a doubling of biomass fuels, will result in renewables contributing 35% of energy requirements in 2030
Role of Renewable Energy Sources
Biomass Large hydro Ge othe rmal Small hydro Wind Solar the rmal Photov oltaic Sol the rm e le ctricity M arine 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 2001 2030

M M Tons Oil Equiv ale nt

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Charcoal Wood is transformed into charcoal through pyrolysis:

Heating of wood in the absence of sufficient oxygen to prevent combustion

Organic gases and water are evaporated, charcoal is nearly pure carbon

Burning the released gases provides the fuel for pyrolysis and can be also used to dry fresh wood.

Charcoal has a higher heat content, is cleaner burning, and is much more conveniently transportable than wood

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Brazil heavy user of charcoal for industrial energy a substitute for coal in making steel

Biomass is used in developing nations for smoking fish, curing tobacco, processing food, and drying bricks, lumber, furniture, and ceramics

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The benefits of biofuel for electricity generation are that biomass:


is plentiful, with large regions of the earth covered by forests and jungles can be increased by planting marginal lands with fast-growing trees and grasses stabilizes the soil and reduces erosion is a renewable and recyclable energy source that does not add to carbon dioxide emissions stores solar energy until needed, then is converted to electricity, whereas solar panels and wind turbines generate electricity, whether needed or not, and then only when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing does not create an ash waste-disposal problem since ash can be spread in the forests or fields to recycle nutrients and not be directed to landfills as is ash from burning coal

creates jobs in rural areas

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Biofuels for Electricity Generation Fast growing trees and grasses, crop residues, wood waste burned to generate electricity up to 10% biomass can be mixed with coal Biomass integrated gasification/gas turbine (BIG/GT) in Brazil fueled by transforming wood chips from tree plantations to gas

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Biogas

In the presence of dissolved oxygen, aerobic microorganisms decompose biodegradable organic matter releasing carbon dioxide, water, and heat
In the absence of dissolved oxygen, an anaerobic digestion process takes place that releases carbon dioxide and methane, which can be collected as a fuel Overall biofuels and biogas for electricity generation are not significant

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Sewage in and carbon dioxide and methane out Methane separated as a fuel Volume of spent slurry far smaller than sewage input
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History of Ethanol 1850s burned as a lamp fuel prior to an alcoholic tax

1896 Ford intended Model Ts to run on ethanol To provide additional revenue for farmers To enhance rural job opportunities (same reasons given today)

But oil industrys future dim from electric lights replacing kerosene lamps light end production (naphtha) a waste product

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Gasoline made from naphtha whole new market

Model Ts adapted with two fuel tanks with ability to mix ethanol and gasoline at will (todays flex-fuel vehicles)

But gasoline much cheaper than ethanol end of ethanol as a fuel, but used as an additive to improve gasoline performance

Prohibition (1919-1933) killed ethanol production for any purpose tetraethyl lead replaced ethanol as an anti-knock agent

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Ford put America on wheels!


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Hydrous and Anhydrous Bioethanol Bioethanol is either hydrous bioethanol (around 5% water) or anhydrous bioethanol (no more than 1% water)

Anhydrous bioethanol is the same as 200 proof whisky except that it is denatured with 2-5% gasoline or natural gas liquids to make it unfit for human consumption

Hydrous ethanol can be used as a 100% substitute for gasoline, or E-100 (technically E-95 taking denaturing into consideration)

Hydrous is less costly because dehydration is not needed

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U.S. Bioethanol Made From Corn (Maize)

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Brazil Bioethanol Made From Sugar

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World Ethanol Production (MM Gallons)

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The Chemistry of Ethanol 6CO2 + 6H20 + Light (photosynthesis) C6H12O6 + 602 The fermentation process decomposes glucose into ethanol and carbon dioxide: C6H12O6 2C2H6O + 2CO2 The chemical formula for ethanol is sometimes written as C2H5OH; either way, ethanol reacts with oxygen during combustion to produce energy that can power an engine along with the waste products of carbon dioxide and water. 2C2H6O + 602 4CO2 + 6H2O + energy

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Dry Milling Nutrient content of corn captured in distillers grains Excellent cattle feed

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Wet Milling Food products for human consumption

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Difference between ethanol and gasoline


Ethanol molecule contains oxygen whereas gasoline is a blend of hydrocarbons ranging from C5H12 to C12H26

Ethanol, an oxygenate, improves fuel combustion reducing carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, and carcinogenic particulate emissions in comparison to gasoline
But oxygen in ethanol reacts with atmospheric nitrogen during combustion producing ozone-forming nitrous oxides, the precursor to smog Ethanol has no sulfur emissions and is a cleaner burning fuel than gasoline even with higher nitrous oxide emissions emitting 13% less emissions than gasoline If spilled, ethanol is biodegradable whereas gasoline is a pollutant

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Energy content of 87-octane gasoline is 18,000 and 19,000 Btu per pound versus 11,500 Btu per pound for ethanol (E-100) Ethanol has a higher octane rating of 98-100 compared to 86-94 for gasoline Higher octane of ethanol results in cleaner and better performing engines Overall, an automobile burning E-100 ethanol will get 70% of the mileage than burning gasoline Ethanol has an affinity for water requiring special storage and distribution systems (cant use existing petroleum distribution system No ethanol pipelines in U.S. railroad tank cars and barges for long distances, tank trucks for short distances

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One principal argument against bioethanol made from corn is that it has only marginal impact on greenhouse gas emissions A great deal of fossil fuel consumption to produce ethanol: Diesel fuel used to plow, plant, cultivate and harvest corn Petroleum and natural gas in fertilizers (water runoff causing algae blooms in Mississippi and Gulf of Mexico) Petroleum consumed in making pesticides Coal and natural gas consumed in generating electricity to run ethanol plants Natural gas burned directly in ethanol plants for fuel Diesel fuel used in distribution of fertilizers, pesticides, and ethanol
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The other argument is the impact on food prices Production (Billions Gallons) 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 (est) 4.0 4.3 4.9 6.5 8.9 % of Corn Crop 14% 15% 17% 23% 31%

30% of U.S. corn crop consumed in supplying 3% of gasoline demand!

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Ethanol Production vs Corn Prices


14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 Jan-92 Ethanol Production Corn Price s $4.50 $4.00 $3.50 $3.00 $2.50 $2.00 $1.50 $1.00 Jan-08

$/Bushel

000 Bbls

Jan-94

Jan-96

Jan-98

Jan-00

Jan-02

Jan-04

Jan-06

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U.S. grows 45% of the worlds corn crop and accounts for nearly 70% of worlds corn exports China second growing 22% of the worlds crop and accounts for 4% of exports World price of corn is affected when 30% of corn crop diverted to ethanol U.S. very limited room to expand agricultural output other than converting wheat fields to corn that also affects food production Furthermore corn is a starch that must first be converted to sugar before being converted to ethanol greater capital and higher operating cost It must be remembered that other than the starch converted to sugar, the nutrients in corn kernels is preserved as distillers grain or as human food in the form of corn syrup, oil, and starch

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Massive Mandatory Expansion of Biofuels in U.S.


Renewable Fuels Requirement
40 35 Ene rgy Act 2005 30 25 20 15 10 5 0
2007 2010 2011 2015 2016 2019
2008 2009 2012 2013 2014 2017 2018

Ene rgy Act 2007

Bln Gallons

2020

2021

2006

2022

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Percentage Content Biofuels in Motor Vehicle Fuel


35%

30% Re ne wable +Adv ance d Re ne wable Alone 25%

20% 15%

10%

5%

0% 2006

2008

2010

2012

2014

2016

2018

2020

2022

Car manufacturers do not warrant engine performance for >E-10 Must build motor vehicles that can burn >E-10 Flex-fuel cars such as in Brazil should be built and gasoline stations expanded to handle ethanol

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Percentage of the corn crop dedicated to meeting the renewable fuel requirement if only source of ethanol
Percentage Corn Crop Dedicated to Renewable Biofuels
160% 140% 120% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 2006

2008

2010

2012

2014

2016

2018

2020

2022

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Implications of government mandate:


Clearly corn cannot satisfy mandate for bioethanol in gasoline Cellulosic ethanol will have to be developed as the entire corn plant can be consumed making ethanol to meet mandate Successful development of cellulosic ethanol may make current use of corn and other foodcrops a passing phenomenon Ethanol imports from Brazil should be encouraged by dropping the 54 cent per gallon tariff on imported ethanol outside Caribbean area Gasoline prices will have to be in $3-4 range for ethanol producers to financially survive despite existing subsidies, the largest being the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) of 51 cents per gallon (ethanol does not pay the Federal Highway tax levied on gasoline)
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Primaries in Iowa critical for presidential hopefuls!


Existing and Under Construction/Expansion Ethanol Producing Capacity
Iowa Ne braska Illinois S. Dakota M inne sota Indiana Kansas Wisconsin 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 3,500 Existing Unde r Construction

M M Gal/Yr

What is the meaning of a mandate if ethanol producers are going bankrupt?


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Section Topics

Crops for BioEthanol Sugar Production Brazil: The Great Leap Forward for Biofuels Land Use in Brazil Energy Output/Fossil Fuel Input Cost of Biofuels vs Crude Oil

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Ethanol Yield by Crop & by Region


7,000

6,000

5,000

Liters per Hectare

4,000

3,000

2,000

1,000

0 SugarBrazil ugarbe e tEUSugarIndia Corn U.S. S Whe at EU Barle y EU


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2007/2008 Estimated Sugar Production and Exports (MM Tons)

Brazil is worlds largest producer and exporter of sugar


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Brazil The Great Leap Forward for Biofuels The development of the ethanol industry in Brazil was nurtured by decades of government support programs

In 1975, Brazil imported much of its oil needs, aggravating its negative balance of trade

Brazil also had a social challenge of enormous number of idle workers in rural Center-South and North-Northeast regions of Brazil

The solution to both problems was bioethanol

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Brazilian government implemented a program to stimulate ethanol production to reduce reliance on imported oil, to provide job opportunities for large numbers of idle workers, and to convert fallow land to agricultural use

Favorable subsidies made ethanol cheaper than gasoline

Petrobras (national oil company of Brazil) had to convert gas stations to handle E-100, gasoline, and gasohol (mix of gasoline and ethanol)

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Light Motor Vehicle Production in Brazil


2,000 1,800 1,600
(000 Motor Vehicles)

1,400 1,200 1,000 800 600 400 200 0 1979

Gasohol Alcohol Fle x Fue l

1983

1987

1991

1995

1999

2003

Most cars now being manufactured are flex fuel giving Brazilians a choice of buying E-100, gasoline, or any mix of the two
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% Ethanol in Gasoline vs Total Oil Consumption in Brazil


50% 2,400

45%

2,000

40%

1,600
000 Bpd

35%

1,200

30% % Ethanol Oil Consumption 25%

800

400

20% 1982

0 1987 1992 1997 2002

Government objective is for ethanol to be 20-25% of gasoline pool Despite continuing growth in bioethanol production, % in gasoline falling and crude oil consumption still growing Why?
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Crop Sugarcane Corn

Annual Yield (Gallons/Acre 570-700 330-420

Greenhouse Gas Savings (% versus Petroleum 87%-96% 10%-20% Million Acres 550 225 185 105 37 12

Land Use in Brazil Pastureland for cattle Savannah Urban centers, lakes, other Cropland (soybeans and other grains) Permanent crops (oranges, sugarcane, etc) Reforestation and wood pulp and other wood product farms (pine, eucalyptus)

Plenty of land to expand sugarcane production without burning down the Amazon rain forest
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Advantage of sugar ethanol from Brazil over corn ethanol from U.S.:
1. Underutilized land that can be converted to sugar plantations 2. Simpler production process (no conversion of starch to sugar) 3. Burning of bagasse (sugar cane waste) to produce electricity to fuel ethanol processing plants 4. Recycling of vinasse (sugar liquid waste) which recycles fertilizers from ground to plant to ground eliminating algae blooms in rivers where once disposed fertilizer applications much less than U.S. 5. Corn is an annual crop sugar is planted every 6 years for 5 cuttings 6. Corn needs pesticides, pests are controlled in Brazil by planting a different variety of sugarcane
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Brazil has an active R&D effort to make Brazil the low cost producer of ethanol: 1. development of new sugarcane varieties with higher sugar yields and increased resistance to drought and insects 2. use of bagasse as a biofuel 3. advances in the technology of making ethanol 4. optimization of fertilizer application and recycling fertilizer (vinasse) 5. progressive agricultural management of sugarcane plantations 6. improvements in harvesting and transportation systems 7. efficiently run ethanol plants 8. Replacing sugarcane cutters with mechanical harvesters

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Cutters suffering from physical ailments from backbreaking work and from smoke inhalation from burning fields prior to harvesting

Fields burned to remove excessive leaves from sugarcane plus pest removal

Mechanical harvesting no burning of sugar fields and thus no smoke pollution

Being re-employed as workers in new sugar plantations

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Cut sugarcane must then be hand loaded in wagons or trucks


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Eliminates backbreaking work, and unemployed sugarcane cutters finding work in new sugar plantations as Brazils sugar production climbs
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Energy Output/Fossil Fuel Input

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2006 Production Costs Biofuels

Ethanol Sugar Brazil

Ethanol Corn U.S.

Ethanol Grains EU

Biodie se l Ve gOil EU

Ce llulosic Ethanol

$0

$20

$40

$60 $80 $/Bbl Crude Oil

$100

$120

$140

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Section Topics Recent Developments (Biobutanol and Cellulosic Ethanol) Biorefineries

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Recent Developments BP has entered into a partnership with Dupont to develop biofuels based on biobutanol, which adds a step in ethanol production

Biobutanol has a chemical composition closer to gasoline and can be used in present distribution system

No adjustments have to be made to automobile engines

No special logistics requirements

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Cellulosic Ethanol Technological development of cellulosic ethanol (conversion of the cellular structure of plants to ethanol)

Corn stover and cobs could be harvested for cellulosic ethanol, not just the kernels of corn, also straw from wheat harvesting

Forest sources: logging residues, wood processing residues, wood waste, fire hazard reduction

Potential of cellulosic ethanol can supply over half of U.S. gasoline

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Common Crops Associated with Ethanol Production Greenhouse Gas Annual Yield Savings Crop (Gallons/Acre (% versus Petroleum Sugarcane 570-700 87%-96% Corn 330-420 10%-20% Miscanthus 780 37%-73% Poplar 400-640 51%-100% Switchgrass 330-810 37%-73% Sweet sorghum 270-750 No data Notice similarity of cellulosic ethanol output to sugarcane and corn

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% Composition
Biomass Feedstock Poplar (hybrid) Switchgrass Bagasse (sugarcane) Corn stover Miscanthus Sweet sorghum Cellulose 42-56% 44-51% 32-48% 35% 44% 27% Hemicellulose 18-25% 42-50% 19-24% 28% 24% 25% Lignin 21-23% 13-20% 23-32% 16-21% 17% 11%

Cellulose is made up of long chains of glucose molecules with six atoms of carbon per molecule (six-carbon sugar) requires enzymes to breakdown. Hemicellulose consists of a mixture of six- and fivecarbon sugars and is easier to break down than cellulose Lignin is the glue in cell walls that provides the overall rigidity and strength to plant structure and is very difficult to breakdown now generally burned as a processing plant fuel
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Production Process for Cellulosic Ethanol

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Iogen operates the world's only demonstration scale facility that converts biomass to cellulose ethanol using enzyme technology

Iogen technology uses a combination of thermal, chemical and biochemical techniques that yields 340 liters of cellulosic ethanol per ton of plant fiber. The process converts cellulose and hemicellulose (C5 and C6 sugars) to simple sugar that is then converted to ethanol. Lignin in plant fiber is separated and burned to power the process. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions since no outside sources of fossil fuel energy are needed.
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U.S. Government Sponsored Biorefinery Research

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Section Topics Biodiesel Production Biodiesel Fuel Characteristics Biodiesel Crops Land Required to Produce 10% Biofuels

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Biodiesel The first diesel engines invented by Rudolf Diesel ran on a heavy grade of kerosene, but at the Paris Exposition in 1900, the demonstration diesel engine ran on peanut oil Diesel became a strong advocate for the use of vegetable oils as a fuel to aid agriculture as in this 1912 quote: The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oil may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and coal-tar products of the present time. ... Motive power can still be produced from the heat of the sun, always available, even when the natural stores of solid and liquid fuels are completely exhausted.

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Like 200 proof White Lightning, biodiesel can also be home brewed. Anyone can make biodiesel in a blender. The recipe calls for some dangerous ingredients such as methanol and lye. After duly providing some safety precautions, put 200 milliliters of methanol in the blender. Dump in 3.5 grams of lye. Blend. Again precautionary words over not ingesting methanol and the resultant methoxide, Once you have a successful methoxide reaction, add a liter of vegetable oil and blend for about fifteen minutes. This is the biodiesel reaction, and if the mixing is done correctly you get two nicely defined layers. One is glycerin, the by-product of the reaction, and one is biodiesel. The glycerin is nontoxic and composted for disposal and the biodiesel can go right into the fuel tank. Lyle Estill, Biodiesel Power, (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2005)

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Succinct recipe for biodiesel Inputs are 87% vegetable oil, 12% alcohol and 1% catalyst Outputs are 86% methyl ethyl (biodiesel), 9% glycerine, 4% alcohol recapture, and 1% fertilizer and no waste products

A truly succinct recipe

100 lbs of vegetable oil + 10 lbs of methanol = 100 lbs of biodiesel + 10 lbs of glycerin

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Biodiesel Emission Properties


Changes in Tailpipe Emissions of Biodiesel versus Petrodiesel Emission B100 Carbon monoxide -43% Hydrocarbons -56% Particulates -55% Nitrogen oxides +6% Sulfur oxides -100% Air toxics -60% to 90% Mutagenicity -80% to 90% Life cycle emissions of carbon dioxide -78% Mutagenicity is the effect on genetic material

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Biodiesel Properties Like bioethanol, biodiesel is biodegradable if spilt (does not pollute like oil)

Biodiesel has a heat content of about 121,000 Btu per gallon compared to 135,000 Btu for #2 diesel fuel

Biodiesel oxygen content of around 10% is higher than petrodiesel, lowers emissions and enhances combustion efficiency by about 7%

B100 has a net 5% loss in torque, power, and fuel efficiency compared to petrodiesel

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Biodiesel Crops Crop Oil palm Coconut Jatropha Rapeseed/canola Peanut Sunflower Safflower Mustard Soybean Corn (Maize) Liters/hectare 5,950 2,689 1,590 1,190 1,059 952 779 572 446 172 Gallons/acre 635 287 202 127 113 102 83 61 48 18 % Share 1% 84% 13% 1% -

% Share reflects preponderance of biodiesel production in Europe

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Biodiesel Yield by Crop & by Region


Palm M alaysia Palm Brazil Jatropha Rape se e d Sunflowe r Soybe an EU Soybe an US Soybe an Brazil 0 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 Lite rs pe r He ctare 5,000 6,000

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World Production Major Oil Seed Crops


Soybe an

Rape se e d Cottonse e d Pe anut Sunflowe r Palm ke rne l

Copra 0 50 100 150 M illion Tons 200 250

U.S. favors soybean for biodiesel soydiesel because we grow so much of it

% Agricultural Land for 10% Biofuel Share


80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% EU Canada U.S. World Poland Brazil

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Section Topics

Jatrophe for Biodiesel Algae Farms Biodiesel Crops Brazils Approach to Biodiesel Business Risks of Biofuels

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Jatropha (Jatropha curcas) is a weed that grows in tropical regions in Africa, South America, India, China and Southeast Asia

Has no impact on agricultural output because grown on nonagricultural land, along road sides and railroad tracks
The plant can grow on virtually barren soil with little water and produces non-edible seeds rich in oil whose biofuel yield per acre beats many biofuel crops (non-edible fixes cost in terms of planting and harvesting not a variably priced food crop) Begins to bear fruit 2 years after planting reaches full output at 10 years and lives for 50 years

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The plant needs no fertilizer if the residue after extracting the oil, seed cake, is placed around the plant (another example of fertilizer-recycling)

In Mali, jatropha is grown in long rows as a living fence to keep grazing cattle, repelled by its smell, off crop fields. Can also be grown in rows interspersed with agricultural crops

Obvious benefit to third world nations is home-grown diesel that does not squander the hard currency reserves of impoverished non-oil producing nations to purchase petrodiesel

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Jatropha curcas

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Biodiesel from Algae Algae grow almost everywhere oceans, ponds, swimming pools, and goldfish bowls

Alga lack roots, stems, and leaves and the reproductive organs of flowers, seeds, and fruits characteristic of plants but 100 high kelp growing in the Pacific Ocean is classed as an alga

Certain types of algae produce oils similar to vegetable oils at 30 to 100 times per acre of pond water greater than the per acre yield of soybeans or corn

Algae require 99% less water than what these biofuel crops absorb in their life cycle, but water evaporates from ponds

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Oil produced by algae can be straightforwardly converted to biodiesel The residue after the removal of the oil is mainly carbohydrates that can be converted to ethanol and the rest is protein for a highly nutritious animal feed The critical aspect of algal ponds is not depth, but surface area and the amount of sunshine Deserts an ideal location as long as there is a ready supply of water to replace evaporation can be drawn from saline aquifers, which otherwise have no use

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Productivity can be enhanced by building an alga pond near a coal burning electricity generating plant
Emissions from the plant percolate through the pond water, and if properly designed, the algae will consume most of the carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions Carbon dioxide enhances photosynthesis and nitrous oxides act as a fertilizer Other fertilizers can be animal and human waste and fertilizer waste found in rivers Algal cultivation is a perfect conversion of waste products in polluted waters into useful products Means to clean up polluted waters and improve environment

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Algal Pond

Algae removal as single cell plants difficult at this time, but algal plants like kelp and string alga are much easier to harvest

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Algal Farm/Factory

15,000 square miles equivalent to 2% of U.S. grazing and range land would produce enough biodiesel to supply all motor vehicles (assuming conversion of gasoline to diesel engines)

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A photo-bioreactor takes up much less area, but has a higher capital cost than ponds

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Arizona Public Service Company (APS) and its partner GreenFuel Technologies have succeeded in creating biofuels from algae consuming carbon dioxide and emissions from a natural gas power plant

The companies were able to grow algae whose oil yield was 37 times higher than corn and 140 times higher than soybeans on an equivalent area basis

Pipes capture and transport carbon dioxide emissions from the stack to special-designed containers where the algae is grown and then harvested for their lipids, which are transformed into biodiesel, its starches into ethanol, and its protein along with the residue of making biodiesel and ethanol into high-grade livestock feed

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Biodiesel in Brazil Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo have succeeded in developing a biodiesel formula based on ethanol instead of methanol, making biodiesel entirely renewable Petrobras favors producing biodiesel from non-edible castor oilseed:

The castor plant is robust and can be planted on marginal land with relatively small demand on soil nutrients and water, and a high oil content (45 to 55 percent)
The cost does not vary as the price of a foodstuff, but only as the cost of production The crop provides jobs for rural workers

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Plant residue after removing the seeds contributes to soil recovery or can be a source of cellulosic ethanol or be converted to livestock feed or fertilizer After the oil is removed, the seed cake can be used as a fertilizer or animal feed, but the latter requires detoxification Leaves can be used to grow silkworms Flower draws bees for honey production Stalk can be used for firewood Seeds shell is rich in organic fertilizer

Having tractors and trucks on biodiesel will increase Brazils 8:1 energy output/fossil fuel input ratio for ethanol production

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Castor oil plant note abundance of oilseeds

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Business Risks in Biofuels The oil refinery spread is difference between gasoline and diesel fuel prices less cost of crude oil

The biorefinery spread between value of biofuels as substitutes for gasoline and diesel and the cost of agricultural crops

May be too narrow to support enterprise examples are ethanol producers in U.S. and biodiesel producers in Malaysia and Indonesia declaring bankruptcy

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Other Risks Withdrawal of government support programs

Government unwilling to pay previously announced subsidy

Tax incentives may not be renewed, or be changed, or cancelled

(What the government giveth, the government taketh away)

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Assignment

Select any subject or topic pertaining to biomass and write a short research report on your findings be sure that it is long enough to cover the subject matter and be sure to include footnotes on all cited reference material Of pertinent interest may be: Jatropha for biodiesel Cellulosic ethanol Biodiesel and bioethanol from algae

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