Biodiesel is the name for a variety of ester-based oxygenated fuels derived from natural, renewable biological sources such as vegetable oils edible as well as non-edibles and agricultural waste like rice husk etc. Biodiesel operates in compression ignition engines like petroleum diesel thereby requiring no essential engine modifications. Moreover it can maintain the payload capacity and range of conventional diesel. Unlike fossil diesel, pure biodiesel is biodegradable, nontoxic and essentially free of sulphur and aromatics. The concept of using vegetable oil as a fuel dates back to 1895 when present day Diesel inventor, Dr. Rudolf Diesel himself developed first diesel engine to run on vegetable oil. Biodiesel as automotive fuel has similar properties to petro-diesel and as such can be directly used in existing diesel engines with no modifications.
ADVANTAGES OF BIO-DIESEL
a. The lifecycle production and use of biodiesel produces approximately 80% less carbon dioxide emissions, and almost 100% less Sulphur dioxide. Combustion of biodiesel alone produces over a 90% reduction in total unburned hydrocarbons, and a 75-90% reduction in aromatic hydrocarbons. Biodiesel further provides significant reductions in particulates and carbon monoxide than conventional diesel fuel.
b. Due to less carbon content, the diesel engines are maintained well.
c. Biodiesel is only alternative fuel that runs in any conventional, unmodified diesel engine.
d. Needs no change in refueling infrastructures of retail outlets (pumps) and spare part inventories.
e. Maintains the payload capacity and range of conventional diesel engines.
f. Diesel skilled mechanics can easily attend to the same diesel engines using Bio-Diesel
g. 100% domestic fuel provides a viable substitute for imported petroleum diesel.
h. Biodiesel fuel is non-toxic and biodegradable. Based on Ames Mutagenicity tests, biodiesel provides a 90% reduction in cancer risks.
i. Cetane number, which is associated with easy start of diesel engines, is significantly higher in Bio-Diesel compared to that of conventional diesel fuel.
j. Lubricity is improved over that of conventional diesel fuel. It increases engine efficiency along with lowering maintenance costs.
k. Has a high flash point of about 1200C compared to that of conventional diesel, which has a flash point of 550C. Higher flash point reduces wastage of fuel due to evaporation.
l. Due to higher flash point and Bio-Diesel not being a Petroleum based fuel, it is not under the prevue of Petroleum Ministry and thus does not require explosive license for storage, transportation and sale of Bio-Diesel. The operation simplicity is that of any edible oil and not at all complicated like Petroleum products. m. The Bio-Diesel has more in-built Oxygen, allowing the fuel to burn fully as compared to regular diesel, where it results in sludge formation at the bottom of storage tanks. n. It is economical in net rate of sale of Bio-Diesel because it is covered under 12% GST bracket for end customer, saving a huge sum of amount for any end customer.