Bio Diesel


The Next Generation Sustainable Fuel



What is Bio Diesel?


The concept dates back to 1885 when Dr. Rudolf Diesel built the first diesel engine with the full intention of running it on vegetative source.


He first displayed his engine at the Paris show of 1900 and astounded everyone when he ran the patented engine on any hydrocarbon fuel available - which included gasoline and peanut oil. In 1912 he stated “… the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today. But such oils may in the course of time become as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of present time."



Scientists discovered that the viscosity ( thicKness) of vegetable oils could be reduced in a simple chemical process. In 1970 and that it could work well as diesel fuel in modern engine.


This fuel is called Bio- Diesel.


Since than the technical developments have largely been completed. Plant oil is highly valued as Bio fuel "Diesel" and transformed into Bio Diesel in most industrialised


Please note!!


* This vegetable oil can be used as it is crushed

* This vegetable oil can be blended with normal diesel and used in cars.

* This vegetable oil can be refined and sold as pure diesel

* Refined it can be exported as a clean fuel to anywhere in the world.


Biodiesel is produced from a variety of feedstocks,including soybean oil (United States), palm oil (Malaysia), rapeseed and sunflower oil (Europe) and jatropha oil(India).The feedstock for biodiesel undergoes an esterification process, which removes glycerin and allows the oil to perform like traditional diesel. Although biodiesel has been produced and used in stationary applications (heat and power generation) for nearly a century, its use as a transportation fuel is recent. Bio Diesel is as substitute for, or an additive to diesel


It is an alternative fuel that can be used in diesel engines and provides power similar to conventional diesel fuel.


Bio Diesel is arenewable domestically produced liquid fuel that can help reduce the countries dependence on foreign oil imports.


Recent environmental and economic concerns (Kyoto Protocol) have prompted resurgence in the use of biodiesel throughout the world. In 1991, the European Community, (EC) Proposed a 90% tax reduction for the use of biofuels, including biodiesel.


To day, 21 countries worldwide produce Biodiesel.


The Advantages of Bio Diesel


Bio Diesel is the most valuable form of renewable energy that can be used directly in any existing, unmodified diesel engine.


Energy Independence: Considering that oil priced at $60 per barrel has had a disproportionate impact on the poorest countries, 38 of which are net importers and 25 of Which import all of their oil; the question of trying to achieve greater energy independence one day through the development of biofuels has become one of ‘when’ rather than ‘if,’ and, now on a near daily basis, a biofuels programme is being launched somewhere in the developing world.


Smaller Trade Deficit: Rather than importing other countries’ ancient natural resources, we could be using our own living resources to power our development and enhance our economies. Instead of looking to the Mideast for oil, the world could look to the tropics for biofuels.  producing more biofuels will save foreign exchange and  reduce energy expenditures and allow developing countries to put more of their resources into health, education and other services for their neediest citizens.


Economic Growth: Biofuels create new markets for agricultural products and stimulate rural development because biofuels are generated from crops; they hold enormous potential for farmers. In the near future—especially for the two-thirds of the people in the developing world who derive their incomes from agriculture.

Today, many of these farmers are too small to compete in the global market, especially with the playing field tilted against them through trade distorting agricultural subsidies. They are mostly subsistence farmers who, in a good year, produce enough to feed their families, and in a bad year, grow even poorer or starve. But biofuels have enormous potential to change this situation for the better.

At the community level, farmers that produce dedicated energy crops can grow their incomes and grow their own supply of affordable and reliable energy.

At the national level, producing more biofuels will generate new industries, new technologies, new jobs and new markets.


Cleaner Air: Biofuels burn more cleanly than gasoline and diesel. Using biofuels means producing fewer emissions of carbon monoxide, particulates, and toxic chemicals that cause smog, aggravate respiratory and heart disease, and contribute to thousands of premature deaths each year.


Less Global Warming: Biofuels contain carbon that was taken out of the atmosphere by plants and trees as they grew. The Fossil fuels are adding huge amounts of stored carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere, where it traps the Earth's heat like a heavy blanket and causes the world to warm. Studies show that biodiesel reduces CO2 emissions to a considerable extent and in some cases all most nearly to zero.


In nut-shell:


Bio Diesel is environmental friendly and ideal for heavily polluted cities.

Bio Diesel is as biodegradable as salt

Bio Diesel produces 80% less carbon dioxide and 100% less sulfur dioxide emissions. It provides a 90% reduction in cancer risks.

Bio Diesel can be used alone or mixed in any ratio with mineral oil diesel fuel. The preferred ratio if mixture ranges between 5 and 20% (B5 - B20)

Bio Diesel extends the live of diesel engines

Bio Diesel is cheaper then mineral oil diesel

Bio Diesel is conserving natural resources


The Process


The process of converting vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel is called Transesterification and is luckily less complex then it sounds.


Chemically, Transesterification means taking a triglyceride molecule or a complex fatty acid, neutralizing the free fatty acids, removing the glycerin, and creating an alcohol ester. This is accomplished by mixing methanol with sodium hydroxide to make sodium methoxide. This liquid is then mixed into the vegetable oil. After the mixture has settled, Glycerin is left on the bottom and methyl esters, or biodiesel is left on top and is washed and filtered.


The final product Bio Diesel fuel, when used directly in a Diesel Engine will burn up to 75% cleaner then mineral oil Diesel fuel.


The Technology


The technology is mature and proven


Presently, the indigenously designed bio-fuel plant for 600 lt /day is in operation. We have to design and develop bio-fuel plants of 3 to 10 tones per day capacity for installation in different parts of the country. Effective marketing chain needs to be planned for enabling farmers to reap the benefits directly. Bio-fuel mission will provide technological and employment generation focuses for the rural sector. Use of eleven million hectares of wasteland for Jetropha cultivation can lead to generation of minimum twelve million jobs


The Cost


The cost of Bio Diesel is largely dependent on the choice of feedstock and the size of the production facility.

Capital costs for biodiesel production facilities are similar to those for ethanol facilities, ranging from $9,800 to $29,000 (2004 dollars) per daily barrel of capacity, depending on size of the production facility. Further it is largely dependent on the choice of feedstock. If Jatropha feedstock is used, the fuel will cost depending on the country approximately US $ 0, 40 per liter plus taxes when applicable.






Rate per barrel(US$)


















The main competitor of jatropha oil is palm oil but while palm oil is currently prized as a future source for biodiesel, it is increasingly in the spotlight for environmental issues. Given that Jatropha is a non-edible, its cultivation doesn’t impact the supply or prices of food crops. As such jatropha appears to be best and cheapest  feedstock for Biodiesel production.


India currently uses about 40m tones of diesel a year but the country has a vast amount of wasteland. So with a yield of 3.0 tones of biodiesel from Jatropha per hectares, if India planted Jatropha on 20m hectares It  could produce all of  its  current demand



International Laws and regulation


Several countries have active Biodiesel programmes. Such countries also have given legislative support and have drawn up national polices on biodiesel development. Wide variety of motives for action taken can observe like


Increase of energy supply security

Reduction of dependence on fossil energy forms

Reduction of harmful locally acting emissions.

Protection of soil by biodegradable products

Reduction of health hazard by using non-toxic products.


Biodiesel Scenario In India


As India is deficient in edible oils, non-edible oil is the main choice for producing biodiesel. According to Indian government policy and Indian technology effects  some development works have been carried out with regards to the production of transesterfied non edible oil and its use in biodiesel by units such as Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Tamilnadu Agriculture University Coimbatore and Kumaraguru College of Technology in association with Pan horti consultants. Coimbatore. Generally a Blend of 5% to 20% is used in India (B5 to B20). Indian Oil Corporation has taken up Research and development work to establish the parameters of the production of tranesterified Jatropha Vegetable oil and use of bio diesel in its R&D center at Faridabad. Research is carried out in Kumaraguru College of Technology for marginally altering the engine parameters to suit the Indian Jatropha seeds and to minimize the cost of transesterification.


Area Coverage vs. Blending Requirements



Diesel Demand



Bio-Diesel @ 5%


Area for 5%



Bio-Diesel @10%


Area for 10%


Bio-Diesel @20%


Area for 20%

































As a substitute for fast  depleting fossil fuel. Bio diesel had come to stay. In future, it should also serve to reduce and maintain the price of automobile fuel. The under exploited and un exploited vegetable oils are good sources of biofuel. Our country is endowed with many such plants. Research is being carried out now to convert vegetable oils into biodiesel through biotechnological processes using biodiesel. With a concentrated  and coordinated effort. Wide use of bio diesel in our country is going to be a reality in the days to come.


A national mission on Bio-Diesel has already been proposed by the committee comprising six micro missions covering all aspects of plantation, procurement of seed, extraction of oil, trans-esterification, blending & trade, and research and development. Diesel forms nearly 40% of the energy consumed in the form of hydrocarbon fuels, and its demand is estimated at 40 million tons.


Therefore blending becomes the important National Issue which apart from giving the dividends, it saves the country's exchequer. India has vast stretches of degraded land, mostly in areas with adverse agro- climatic conditions, where species of Jatropha , Mahua etc can be grown easily.




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