Biodiesel is a vegetable oil or animal fat based diesel fuel that can serve as an alternative to standard diesel manufactured from crude oil and fossil fuels. It is both non-toxic and renewable that can be obtained from recycled animal, farm or domestic waste. It can be used in standard engines or for other purposes with little or no additive without any significant difference in the operation of the engine.
[box_dark]Reasons to adopt biodiesel as an alternative to petroleum products[/box_dark]
Due to numerous factors like global demand, supply from oil producing Middle-East Asian countries, political scenarios and manufacturing capability of countries coupled with import-export capabilities, the price of crude oil and as a result the price of refined petrol, diesel and other products has been rising steeply. This triggered a chain reaction which led to the global recession and has compelled many governments to declare a state of economic emergency. As a result, the price of the diesel available in the market for consumption has increased substantially over the last couple of years. A change in the scenario of the global market for crude oil and refined petroleum products in the near future seems unlikely. As a result, biodiesel is the most practical and economical alternative to mainstream petroleum products.
Another issue of major concern which is being discussed at a global level is the constant rise in Global warming and its aftermath. There has been a significant shift in the climate in numerous regions. Burning of petrol and diesel obtained 4rm fossil fuels are a major contributor to global warming. The waste material released during the burning of fossil fuels traps the outgoing short wave radiation which leads to global warming. Biodiesel on the other hand is produced from vegetable oil and can be used in standard vehicular engines and other burning purposes.
Hence, biodiesel is a cheaper, cleaner alternative to petroleum products and biodiesel from waste biomass can prove to be the life saver at a time when the entire civilization is heading towards an inevitable crisis of a catastrophic level.
Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) is located in Jacksonville, Florida. Besides Jacksonville (Duval County), JEA also provides its services in Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties.
In light of the recent collapse of economic sectors and the raging concern for the world climate, JEA hasasked its community to recycle used cooking oil for the production of biodiesel.
The used fried oil from several households and fast food joints can be discarded in a receptacle tank in the locality which can later be collected by oil trucks from refineries. In its current state, the oil is unusable as biodiesel as it contains water and food particles. The refineries can drain out the water. Once they drain the water, the oil is then processed through a multi-stage filtering process. The drained oil is then passed through various vibrating sieves with different mesh size, staring from the largest and ending with the finest mesh which filters out all the solid debris. The refined oil is then refrigerated as feedstock which is then sent to the biodiesel manufacturing plants which stores the oil in holding tanks. The feedstock is then taken and combined with methanol, a type of wood alcohol together with a catalyst which triggers a chemical reaction. The reaction produces glycerine as the by-product which is a common ingredient in soaps, detergents and cosmetics. The product is then processed which consumes a high percentage of the methanol leaving just a tiny percentage of it in the biodiesel. After running several tests like flammability test to ensure the fuel meets international standards, the fuel is distributed in the market, ready for consumption.
[box_dark]Cleaner environment for our children[/box_dark]
Use of biofuel can help decrease the pollution and as a result bring down global warming while also ensuring the reduction of emission of cancer causing agents in the atmosphere. Efforts should be made to achieve a cleaner environment and adopt sustainable development through the use of biodiesel so that we do not deny the future generation of an Earth worthy of sustaining human civilization.