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    Spanish company Ferry Group is to invest €42/US$55.2 million in a project for the production of biomass fuel pellets in Bulgaria. The 3-year project consists of establishing plantations of paulownia trees near the city of Tran. Paulownia is a fast-growing tree used for the commercial production of fuel pellets. Dnevnik - Feb. 20, 2007.

    Hungary's BHD Hõerõmû Zrt. is to build a 35 billion Forint (€138/US$182 million) commercial biomass-fired power plant with a maximum output of 49.9 MW in Szerencs (northeast Hungary). Portfolio.hu - Feb. 20, 2007.

    Tonight at 9pm, BBC Two will be showing a program on geo-engineering techniques to 'save' the planet from global warming. Five of the world's top scientists propose five radical scientific inventions which could stop climate change dead in its tracks. The ideas include: a giant sunshade in space to filter out the sun's rays and help cool us down; forests of artificial trees that would breath in carbon dioxide and stop the green house effect and a fleet futuristic yachts that will shoot salt water into the clouds thickening them and cooling the planet. BBC News - Feb. 19, 2007.

    Archer Daniels Midland, the largest U.S. ethanol producer, is planning to open a biodiesel plant in Indonesia with Wilmar International Ltd. this year and a wholly owned biodiesel plant in Brazil before July, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The Brazil plant is expected to be the nation's largest, the paper said. Worldwide, the company projects a fourfold rise in biodiesel production over the next five years. ADM was not immediately available to comment. Reuters - Feb. 16, 2007.

    Finnish engineering firm Pöyry Oyj has been awarded contracts by San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. to provide services for the first bioethanol plant in the Philippines. The aggregate contract value is EUR 10 million. The plant is to be build in the Province of San Carlos on the north-eastern tip of Negros Island. The plant is expected to deliver 120,000 liters/day of bioethanol and 4 MW of excess power to the grid. Kauppalehti Online - Feb. 15, 2007.

    In order to reduce fuel costs, a Mukono-based flower farm which exports to Europe, is building its own biodiesel plant, based on using Jatropha curcas seeds. It estimates the fuel will cut production costs by up to 20%. New Vision (Kampala, Uganda) - Feb. 12, 2007.

    The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has decided to use 10% biodiesel in its fleet of public buses. The world's largest city is served by the Toei Bus System, which is used by some 570,000 people daily. Digital World Tokyo - Feb. 12, 2007.

    Fearing lack of electricity supply in South Africa and a price tag on CO2, WSP Group SA is investing in a biomass power plant that will replace coal in the Letaba Citrus juicing plant which is located in Tzaneen. Mining Weekly - Feb. 8, 2007.

    In what it calls an important addition to its global R&D capabilities, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is to build a new bioenergy research center in Hamburg, Germany. World Grain - Feb. 5, 2007.

    EthaBlog's Henrique Oliveira interviews leading Brazilian biofuels consultant Marcelo Coelho who offers insights into the (foreign) investment dynamics in the sector, the history of Brazilian ethanol and the relationship between oil price trends and biofuels. EthaBlog - Feb. 2, 2007.

    The government of Taiwan has announced its renewable energy target: 12% of all energy should come from renewables by 2020. The plan is expected to revitalise Taiwan's agricultural sector and to boost its nascent biomass industry. China Post - Feb. 2, 2007.

    Production at Cantarell, the world's second biggest oil field, declined by 500,000 barrels or 25% last year. This virtual collapse is unfolding much faster than projections from Mexico's state-run oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos. Wall Street Journal - Jan. 30, 2007.

    Dubai-based and AIM listed Teejori Ltd. has entered into an agreement to invest €6 million to acquire a 16.7% interest in Bekon, which developed two proprietary technologies enabling dry-fermentation of biomass. Both technologies allow it to design, establish and operate biogas plants in a highly efficient way. Dry-Fermentation offers significant advantages to the existing widely used wet fermentation process of converting biomass to biogas. Ame Info - Jan. 22, 2007.

    Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited is to build a biofuel production plant in the tribal belt of Banswara, Rajasthan, India. The petroleum company has acquired 20,000 hectares of low value land in the district, which it plans to commit to growing jatropha and other biofuel crops. The company's chairman said HPCL was also looking for similar wasteland in the state of Chhattisgarh. Zee News - Jan. 15, 2007.

    The Zimbabwean national police begins planting jatropha for a pilot project that must result in a daily production of 1000 liters of biodiesel. The Herald (Harare), Via AllAfrica - Jan. 12, 2007.

    In order to meet its Kyoto obligations and to cut dependence on oil, Japan has started importing biofuels from Brazil and elsewhere. And even though the country has limited local bioenergy potential, its Agriculture Ministry will begin a search for natural resources, including farm products and their residues, that can be used to make biofuels in Japan. To this end, studies will be conducted at 900 locations nationwide over a three-year period. The Japan Times - Jan. 12, 2007.

    Chrysler's chief economist Van Jolissaint has launched an arrogant attack on "quasi-hysterical Europeans" and their attitudes to global warming, calling the Stern Review 'dubious'. The remarks illustrate the yawning gap between opinions on climate change among Europeans and Americans, but they also strengthen the view that announcements by US car makers and legislators about the development of green vehicles are nothing more than window dressing. Today, the EU announced its comprehensive energy policy for the 21st century, with climate change at the center of it. BBC News - Jan. 10, 2007.

    The new Canadian government is investing $840,000 into BioMatera Inc. a biotech company that develops industrial biopolymers (such as PHA) that have wide-scale applications in the plastics, farmaceutical and cosmetics industries. Plant-based biopolymers such as PHA are biodegradable and renewable. Government of Canada - Jan. 9, 2007.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Symposium: Is the world ready for a 'Green Revolution' in Africa?

A major symposium to be held on november 13 in Indianapolis will focus on "The African Green Revolution". Agronomists, social scientists and health researchers convene to take the United Nations Secretary General's call for a "uniquely African Green Revolution for the 21st Century" as the focus of their research and to report on progress made. The original Green Revolution of the 1960-80's essentially bypassed sub-Saharan Africa. Unlike this green revolution, which emphasized improved crop germplasm in an environment with good soils and much irrigation, the African green revolution is envisioned to be far more holistic, integrating five main components: agriculture, nutrition, markets, environment, and policies.

These components form the core of the UN's Millenium Villages Project. The Millennium Villages seek to end extreme poverty by working with the poorest of the poor, village by village throughout Africa, in partnership with governments and other committed stakeholders, providing affordable and science-based solutions to help people lift themselves out of extreme poverty.

Earlier, we referred to several studies showing that an integrated approach to rural development is both a precondition for and a result of the creation of a viable bioenergy and biofuels industry in Africa. Separate studies about such basic issues like fertilizer use, small investments in improved seed use or enhanced market access show that in theory production, yields and incomes in Africa can easily be increased with truly minor investments. Africa has tremendous agricultural potential, but a combination of internal and external factors, ranging from disease, war, trade barriers, or lack of education and infrastructures, has made it difficult to exploit this potential. Many scientists think that tackling these factors in a systematic and integrated way will result in a true Green Revolution that will change the black continent and the world.

12 Millennium Villages established in Africa already demonstrate how effective such an integrated approach to rural development can be. For example, after one year, the people in one village have eliminated hunger by tripling their grain production, increased their health by building a clinic and sleeping under treated bed nets, and improved their soil by planting 5.5 million trees and shrubs. This was achieved with minimal investment. The United Nations Millennium Project estimates that targeted investment of the equivalent of €80/US$110 per capita, per year for the next 10 years will be needed to achieve all of the Millennium Development Goals in Africa:
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Dr. Pedro Sanchez, Director of Tropical Agriculture and Senior Research scholar at the Earth Institute of Columbia University, and Co-chair of the Hunger Task Force of the United Nations' Millennium Project, is one of several speakers participating in the symposium. "The African Green Revolution" event is part of the Annual Meetings of the American Society of Agronomy-Crop Science Society of America-Soil Science Society of America in Indianapolis. Dr. Sanchez will be joined by six other speakers, who will report on the progress and strategies of the U.N.'s Millennium Development Project.

Other presentations during the symposium include, "Solving Africa's Fertilizer Crisis: The Africa Fertilizer Summit," presented by Akin Adesina, Rockefeller Foundation; and "Balancing Agriculture, Environment, and Health Sciences in the Millennium Villages," presented by Cheryl Palm, Earth Institute at Columbia University.

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Belgian, Dutch investors convert methanol facility into world's largest biomethanol plant; glycerol as feedstock

A consortium of Belgian and Dutch investors announces it has bought a methanol plant in the Netherlands to transform it into the world's first biomethanol plant, producing a staggering 1 billion liters (264 million gallons) of green petrol per year. This makes it one of the world's largest biofuel plants. The feedstock to be used: glycerine, the byproduct of biodiesel production which has sharply dropped in value because of the large quantities of biodiesel produced in the EU.

The investors Econcern (a European consortium of diversified green energy companies), NOM N.V., OakInvest, and engineers S. Doorn and P. Hamm, united as the BioMethanol Chemie Holding, have bought the plant in Delfzijl in the North-east of the Netherlands from Akzo Nobel, DSM and Dynea. The plant was taken it out of production a few months ago due to competition from oil-producing nations which use their excess natural gas to produce low-cost fossil methanol.

"In the coming nine months we'll make the necessary changes and after that it will produce only biomethanol, which will make it the world's first biomethanol plant of substantial capacity," said Chief Executive of BioMethanol Chemie Paul Hamm. Production will start at 100 kilotonnes of biomethanol, 100 million liters, and rise to 1 million kilotonnes soon afterwards, said Hamm.

The European Union demands that by 2010, 5.75 percent of its 50 million-tonne petrol consumption should come from biofuels, and Hamm said the Delfzijl plant alone can contribute 2 percentage points of that requirement.

The plant will use a new and very efficient process to make biomethanol from glycerine, a byproduct of biodiesel which is yet another kind of renewable green fuel made from oil-containing plants. The price of glycerol has dropped sharply due to the increasing production of biodiesel in the European Union.

More efficient than ethanol
Biomethanol can double as a direct in-blend and a replacement for the petrol additive MTB, currently used as a lead replacement, Hamm said. Biomethanol can also be produced from synthesis gas derived from biomass, and Hamm said the process to make biomethanol is several times more efficient than bioethanol, derived from sugar-containing crops such as corn and biomass. "It is a better, more cost-effective and certainly more environmentally friendly way to add bio-components compared to the usage of ethanol," Hamm said.

Aside from use as a transport fuel, biomethanol could also be utilized in direct-methanol fuel cells. These fuel cells, which might power the consumer electronics of the future, have received considerable R&D investments lately:
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Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol, wood alcohol or wood spirits, is a chemical compound with chemical formula CH3OH. It is the simplest alcohol, and is a light, volatile, colourless, flammable, poisonous liquid with a distinctive odor that is somewhat milder and sweeter than ethanol (ethyl alcohol). It is used as an antifreeze, solvent, fuel, and as a denaturant for ethyl alcohol.

Modern methanol production is based on steam reforming synthesis gas, itself most often derived from natural gas. The synthesis gas can also be produced from coal or light petroleum products, but today, most attention is going towards using renewable, non-fossile feedstocks.

The alcohol is used on a limited basis to fuel internal combustion engines, mainly by virtue of the fact that it is not nearly as flammable as gasoline.

Biomethanol fuel cells
Direct-methanol fuel cells are unique in their low temperature, atmospheric pressure operation, allowing them to be miniaturized to an unprecedented degree. This, combined with the relatively easy and safe storage and handling of methanol may open the possibility of fuel cell-powered consumer electronics. There are now plans to use the chemical in eco-friendly fuel cells for laptop computers, the cells will break down methanol via an electrochemical process.

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Innovative process to make biodiesel from ethanol co-product

VeraSun, the second largest ethanol producer in the U.S. announces that it has developed an innovative, patent-pending process for the production of biodiesel from a co-product of ethanol production. This way, it will be possible to produce two renewable fuels - ethanol and biodiesel - from one single feedstock. The process improves the economics of ethanol production.

VeraSun has developed a way to extract oils from distillers grains, a co-product of the ethanol production process. Distillers grains are undervalued as a feed component, but they prove to be an excellent feedstock for biodiesel. Removing the oil from distillers grains both increases the value of the oil for fuel use, and enhances the resulting distillers grains as a livestock feed by concentrating protein and reducing fat content.
"Creating another renewable fuel from an existing co-product of the ethanol production process makes good economic, business and environmental sense. We are adding to the renewable fuel supply, enhancing the content of a valuable animal feed, and creating additional value for our shareholders."
- Don Endres, Chairman and CEO of VeraSun
VeraSun is currently evaluating locations for a 30 million gallon (113 million liter) per year biodiesel production facility that will use distillers grain as a feedstock, with plans to commence construction in 2007 and begin production in 2008:
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The Company has contracted with Lurgi PSI, Inc. for design and engineering services for the biodiesel facility and with Crown Iron Works Company for oil extraction equipment. As a result of the exclusivity provisions in these contracts, VeraSun expects to be the first to develop large-scale facilities using this technology. The Company has also filed a provisional patent application with the U.S. Patent Office for the production process.

"This opportunity is a natural extension to our business and consistent with our objective to be a leader in the production of renewable fuels," said Don Endres, Chairman and CEO of VeraSun. "This technology is particularly strategic to VeraSun because it allows us to extend our large and low-cost producer strategy from ethanol to include biodiesel."

"We have been conducting research and development in the biodiesel area for years, testing and evaluating various technologies," said Matt Janes, Vice President of Technology at VeraSun. "We're confident this process will allow for large-scale, low-cost, and high-quality biodiesel production."

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Biofuels industry spurring jobs in wide array of fields

One of the main social advantages of the rapidly growing bioenergy and biofuels industry is that it opens a new stream of direct and indirect jobs, often in rural regions where unemployment is a major problem. In the developing world, the biofuels industry is labor-intensive, especially when it comes to the cultivation, harvesting and processing of feedstocks. This is why it offers an opportunity for job creation, poverty alleviation and social development amongst the rural poor.

But ethanol and biodiesel investments do not only create employment for farmers. They are just one segment of the long production chain. Job opportunities for highly skilled labor in a diversity of fields emerge as a result of these investments as well.

We want to look at two examples of this process. The first comes from Malaysia, where the biofuels boom is reviving the chemical engineering sector, previously troubled by stagnation. The other comes from Iowa, in the US, where jobs emerge in genetics and crop engineering, construction and logistics, process engineering and the life sciences. Interestingly, both examples demonstrate that before investors can even benefit from the first drop of biodiesel or ethanol, process engineers, crop scientists and civil engineers who design, build and test biofuel plants are already cashing in:
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After a decade of fierce competition and grim times, chemical engineers in Malaysia's edible oil industry are smiling again. This is because the current biodiesel investment frenzy is fuelling growth into their long saturated industry.

For many years, process engineers like De Smet (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, JJ-Lurgi Engineering Sdn Bhd, Lipochem (M) Sdn Bhd and Oiltek Sdn Bhd have been and are still building edible oil refineries to mainly facilitate cooking oil and soap-making factories.

"Process engineers are facilitators of downstream businesses in the palm oil industry. Without this group of people, it will be difficult for investors to make new products cost-effectively and profitably," Oiltek managing director Wong Seong said.

Established in 1981, Oiltek is best known among process engineering circles for its tall and thin tube-like crystalisers used for oil fractionation, believed to be more efficient than the short and wide foreign crystalisers that were common in the early days of the refining industry.

In the last two decades, Oiltek has sold its high- technology equipment and serviced customers in China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Congo and Nigeria. "From constructing refineries for manufacturers to make cooking oil and detergent from crude palm oil, we have moved into more sophisticated processes to make biodiesel plants," said Wong, who has had 35 years experience dealing with downstream products in the palm oil industry.

As the world embraces more usage of biodiesel as renewable fuel in the transport and energy sectors, process engineers are gaining more business, constructing biodiesel plants. Wong said that of the seven units of biodiesel plants Oiltek is participating in South-East Asia and Central America, amounting to some US$50 million (RM183 million), three are located in Malaysia.

Palm-based biodiesel remains in liquid form in Malaysia's hot weather, but it thickens and becomes jelly-like as the climate gets colder. To ensure palm diesel remains fluid and usable during winter in temperate countries, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) came up with a different technology to make winter grade fuel.

So far, local players Lipochem and Oiltek are the only two licence holders of the MPOB's knowhow on winter and normal (summer) grade palm diesel. "We've already completed the winter biodiesel plant for MPOB/carotino in August and are now working on two more for MPOB joint venture partners on Carey Island and in Port Klang in Selangor. These two plants should be ready by mid-2007," Wong said.

A bigger process engineer in Malaysia, using Italian and Belgian technology, is De Smet (Malaysia). Currently, the group has booked in jobs worth in excess of US$80 million (RM292 million) to build 11 biodiesel plants in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

"Our order book is growing," De Smet Malaysia managing director Khoo Kiak Kern said. Desmet Ballestra Group, an edible oil refining technology provider, sees Malaysia as its biggest market for constructing biodiesel plants. Among its clients are Vance Bioenergy Sdn Bhd in Pasir Gudang, Zoop Sdn Bhd in Shah Alam, SPC Biodiesel Sdn Bhd in POIC Lahad Datu, Kulim Bhd in Tanjung Langsat and Jupiter Biofuels Sdn Bhd in Kuantan.

"We've completed our first biodiesel plant in Pasir Gudang, Johor, for our client Vance Technology Sdn Bhd," Khoo said. "The next two biodiesel plants in Peninsular Malaysia are due to be completed by the year-end," he added.

Another player which has established itself in Malaysia's oleochemical industry is Singapore-based JJ-Lurgi Engineering Sdn Bhd. An equal joint venture between Jebsen & Jessen (SEA) Pte Ltd and Lurgi AG, JJ-Jurgi has been designing, building and selling edible oil refineries in Malaysia since the early 1980s.

Lurgi AG is currently the market leader in constructing biodiesel plants in Europe. "The reliability of German process engineering methods is proven. Lurgi in process engineering is like Mercedes in the automotive industry," JJ-Lurgi business development manager Connie Lo said.

In Malaysia, the company currently captures 80 per cent market share in the construction of oleochemical plants. "Biodiesel is not new to us. In fact, methyl ester is intermediate to making fatty alchohol," she said. Lately, JJ-Lurgi has been receiving a lot of enquiries from China and South-East Asian countries.

"Although we have been supplying biodiesel plants for quite a few years now, the enquiries in the last 10 months have been phenomenal. Process engineering is experiencing tremendous growth in this region," she said. Curently, JJ-Lurgi is building a 60,000- tonne-per-year biodiesel plant for Lereno Sdn Bhd in Sitiawan, Perak, and Lo said the structure should be ready for operation by March 2007. Over in Sabah, it is building a 200,00-tonne-per- year biodiesel plant for Zurex Corp Sdn Bhd in POIC Lahad Datu.

When Greg Derscheid and Randy Retleff grew up on their families' Wright County farms, they never imagined working in an ethanol plant. Neither did Julie Rohrdanz, another rural Iowan. "I had visions that some day I would be a vet," said Rohrdanz, who grew up on an acreage near Lake View in Sac County.

Ethanol was in its infancy when they were in school. Since 2000, the number of U.S. ethanol plants has doubled to more than 100, with more than 30 additional plants under construction. Derscheid, Retleff and Rohrdanz are employed by Lincolnway Energy, a $90 million project located just west of Nevada that can produce up to 50 million gallons of ethanol annually. It's one of 25 plants in Iowa, the leading ethanol producer, with 10 more being built.

Economists disagree on the ripple effects of an ethanol plant. John Urbanchuk, an economist at LECG Corp., a California-based consultant, says a 100 million-gallon ethanol plant can generate nearly 1,600 jobs across several industries. Other studies calculate a much smaller impact, but agree that the industry promises job growth in a wide array of fields, including crop genetics, engineering, life sciences and construction.

"You're not going to replace a Maytag overnight, but every 50 or 60 jobs is a step in the right direction," said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association in Johnston. "Call any trucking firm in Iowa and see if they're hiring truck drivers, and the answer will be, 'Yes.' There are a lot of reasons for that, but the biofuels industry is a big part of it."

Each day, thousands of semi-trailer trucks deliver grain and other products to the plants, while tanker trucks and railcars haul fuel to market. At the same time, Shaw and others worry whether Iowa will have the necessary work force to meet its needs. "Finding qualified people is definitely a challenge," Shaw said.

Industry leaders plan to push lawmakers next year to increase public funding for job training in Iowa, and they intend to campaign for biofuels training to be a beneficiary.

So far, biofuel manufacturers generally have been able to find the workers they need. Before Lincolnway Energy opened last spring, for instance, 350 people applied for 35 jobs, said Rick Brehm, president and general manager of the plant.

Applicants included people from other states and former Iowans who wanted to return to their home state. Lincolnway workers were employed in various industries before joining the company.

Derscheid is a high school graduate who worked as a die caster and machine operator in factories before going to work for Lincolnway. Now, as part of a team of four people, he oversees the "cooking" process at the plant.

Retleff worked at a farmer-owned cooperative before earning a business degree in 1997 from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

At Lincolnway, he is the team leader in the plant's computerized control room, helping monitor the production process. Among other tasks, he coordinates percentages of corn and enzymes used in ethanol production, as well as how yeast performs.
Batches vary. It's like baking bread, Retleff said. "Every loaf of bread doesn't look the same, does it?" he said.

After earning a bachelor's degree in dairy science in 1995 from Iowa State University in Ames, Rohrdanz worked as a chemist, first for a soybean processor, then for Dana Corp. At Lincolnway, she manages the laboratory, which monitors the quality of water used and expelled by the plant, as well as the condition of materials going through the manufacturing process.

She also is in charge of safety and environmental management, monitoring air emissions, among other things. Rohrdanz and her co-workers are upbeat about job opportunities in Iowa's biofuels business.

"I think that the ethanol industry is so full of opportunity right now," Rohrdanz said. "People who have any experience or education in this area at all, I think they'll be very much in demand. ... I've seen a lot of young people in positions at ethanol plants."

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China to use local workforce in Philippines for its ethanol plants

Quicknote South-South exchanges
More news has arrived on the memoranda of understanding signed recently between the governments of the Philippines and China on building ethanol plants in the island state (earlier post).

As an interesting example of South-South exchanges in the field of biofuels, China's state-supported joint ventures with Philippine counterparts will rely entirely on local labor and locally sourced equipment for the construction and operation of the plants.

China CAMC Engineering Limited, B.M. SB Integrated Biofuels Company, and Negros Southern Integrated Biofuels Company will have the final contract in December 2006 to be signed by representatives of both parties when the Philippines Bioethanol Bill is expected to be approved by Congress and the Office of the President.

The concerned companies signed the Memorandum of Agreement in the presence of President Arroyo as part of her state visit in China directed at strengthening the trade relations between the two countries. The two ethanol plants will cost US$20 million each. Even though the Chinese companies expressed interest to source labor, machinery and equipment from China, they have now committed to tap the local work force and materials instead.

The Chinese investments are a boost to the Negros region - one of the Philippines' poorest - where local farmers will grow the feedstocks, mainly sugarcane. China intends to import the ethanol. The economic giant is starting to diversify its portfolio of biofuel production units, by investing in Latin America, Africa and South East Asia [entry ends here].
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Jatropha biodiesel versus palm biodiesel tested in a diesel engine

Earlier we reported about comparisons of biodiesels produced from respectively jatropha, palm oil and coconut oil, with ordinary petro-diesel.

Now researchers at Indonesia’s Institut Teknologi Bandung have compared the effects and performance of biodiesel fuels derived from two different feedstocks of importance to that country — palm oil and jatropha — in a direct injection diesel engine.

The study, described in a paper presented at the recent FISITA 2006 conference in Yokohama, Japan, by Dr. Iman Reksowardojo, compared five fuels: B10 palm oil biodiesel, B100 palm oil biodiesel, B10 jatropha biodiesel, B100 jatropha biodiesel and petrodiesel.

The tests measured the effects on the injection pump and nozzles, piston crowns and cylinder heads. The tests also measured emissions of NOx and CO, and fuel consumption:
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Among the results the study found were that:

*Fuel consumption. The differences between fuels were not significant, but B10 Jatropha Curcas turned in slightly lower results that the other blends. The researchers assumed this is because the low viscosity, oxygen content and higher cetane number of B10 Jatropha Curcas contributed to better combustion. This result is still under exploration.

* CO emissions. CO exhaust gas emissions decreased as the content of biodiesel fuel increased in the blending fuel. B100 Palm emitted more CO than other fuels except Petrodiesel, and the researchers concluded this is a result of the highest viscosity of the fuel leading to poorer atomization.

* NOx emissions. B100 Jatropha emitted significantly more NOx than the other fuels. This result is also still under investigation.

* Effect on the injection plunger. The additional weight added to the plungers using the biodiesel blends was lower compared to Petrodiesel, with the exception of B100 jatropha biodiesel.

* Effect on the injection nozzle. While the weight of all nozzles—B100 Palm, B10 Palm, B100 Jatropha Curcas, B10 Jatropha and Petrodiesel—increased, the higher the biodiesel percentage in the fuel burned, the lower the weight increase of the nozzle. This was attributed to the oxygen content in the biodiesel contributing to improved combustion, resulting in lower deposits in the nozzle. Palm Oil biodiesel nozzles had the lowest weight gain.

* Effect on the piston. Although deposits formed in the piston crowns from all the fuels, the deposits resulting from biodiesel use were easier to clean compared to the Petrodiesel.

* Effect on the cylinder head. The thickness of the deposits on the cylinder head followed the same trend as the piston crown deposits. Use of B100 jatropha resulted in the lowest amount of deposits.

The team concluded that the results highlighted that the quality of biodiesel and its effect on engine components is determined partly by the raw material of the feedstock.

Via Greencarcongress.

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