What is a Biodiesel?
Biodiesel can be differentiated from the waste vegetable oils (WVO) or from the straight vegetable oils (SVO) which are used as fuels in some diesel vehicles. Biodiesel is a diesel that is equivalent to the processed fuel which results from the biological sources such as vegetable oils that can be used in unmodified diesel engine vehicles. Biodiesel is considered to be the fuel for future. It is an alternative fuel which is made from renewable resources.
Biodiesel is a very safe fuel which can be used in any diesel engine vehicle. While preparation of Biodiesel does not involve any harmful ingredients and also it does not produce any harmful byproducts. You can prepare Biodiesel at your own place. The ingredients to prepare Biodiesel are triglyceride fat or oil i.e. vegetable which is used in cooking, a strong base like sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (KOH) and a relatively pure alcohol. Biodiesel is one of the cheapest, safest and cleanest fuels available.
Solvents used in a Biodiesel
Large numbers of solvents are used in a bio diesel plant. The types and the solvent used are basically dependent on the type of the plant. The solvents may also be various chemicals used.
Alkyl esters are used in many ways. One of such way is it is used as a solvent in the Biodiesel and it also is used as chemical intermediates which is required for the formation of the detergents.
The pure form of Biodiesel can be used in its pure form. This Biodiesel may include unburned hydrocarbons and it also contains carbon monoxides. This is on of the most efficient way to use a Biodiesel especially when the biodegradability and non-toxicity are important factors.
The solvent properties of the bio diesel are at the highest intensity and they may also cause problems with the loosening of lacquer deposits in the tanks which have he lines and fuels. The problem of the solvents with the B100 is more or less a major concern when the use of the blends is made.
Some of the solvents generally used are hexane, isopropanol, methanol, isopropanol, oil etc
People also produce Biodiesel from the alkali and acid process. Vegetable oil or the waste cooking oil is used for making Biodiesel. The acid based process which requires waste cooking oil is very economic allover.
Some of the projects which use extensive amount are mentioned below:
In Egypt a project has been undertaken which involves the use of the Jatropha as a potential Biodiesel feedstock. Another project in which the Biodisel Fuel from the non edible Vegetable oil is also under taken as a collaborative project by UNH Biodiesel group and the famous National Research Center (NRC), Cairo. Oil is used in large amount and it is extracted from the seeds. In these projects solvents like oil, methanol, and glycerol are extensively used. The chemical reaction of the solvents and the materials used can be future summarized in the following manner:-
Oil + 3 Methanol [using NaOH or KOH catalyst] = 3 Biodiesel (Methyl Ester) + Glycerol.
The main objective behind the research was to study the transesterification of the oil extracted to the Biodisel.