Raw materials for biodiesel fuels are derived from edible oils such as rapeseed oil, soybean oil and palm oil. They are eco-friendly, biodegradable and non-toxic renewable fuels. However, the cultivation of these raw materials competes for agricultural land for human foodstuffs. With this in mind, scientists have developed an improved procedure for the production of biodiesel foods from Vernicia montana oil
By Masakazu Furuta
Biodiesel fuels (BDFs) are fatty acid esters that are combusted for use in engines or heating. They are produced from vegetable oils or animal fats by chemically reacting lipids with an alcohol. Currently, more than 95% of the raw materials currently used for the production of BDFs are derived from edible oils, such as rapeseed oil in Europe, soybean oil in the United States and palm oil in Southeast Asia. This makes them eco-friendly, biodegradable and non-toxic renewable fuels.
Unfortunately, the production of biodiesels fuels can be costly and environmentally damaging. The cultivation of these raw materials competes for agricultural land with the growth of crops for human foodstuffs. Land management must also be taken into account as some BDFs such as palm and soy oil production could result in deforestation. They can also increase greenhouse gas emissions by indirect land-use changes.
Costs associated with the production of BDFs are directly affected by the nature of the feedstock material and its other uses (e.g. edible feedstocks). Land management must also be taken into account as some BDFs such as palm and soy oil production could result in deforestation.
Which makes the production of biodiesel fuels an ineffective strategy for reducing the adverse effects of biodiesel production on climate change. A green production of BDFs would therefore require minimum processing of a non-edible oil.
A green alternative from Southeast Asia?
With this in mind, scientists from Japan and Vietnam evaluated the use of the non-edible oil derived from the tree Vernicia montana Lour for the production of BDF. Their research was published in the journal Green Processing and Synthesis
The white flowering tree, also known as the mu oil tree or chine wood oil tree, is native to Southeast Asia, southern China and Taiwan. For their research, the researchers took the oil from Vernicia montana found in Laos and Vietnam for the production of BDF and developed an improved procedure for its production.
In conclusion, the research showed that although indicative of a potentially energy efficient product, the authors admit a need for further testing of the shelf life to compare with current biodiesel fuels on the market.
Read the original article here
Hanh Ngoc Thi Le, Kiyoshi Imamura, Masakazu Furuta, Luu Van Boi, Yasuaki Maeda: Production of biodiesel from Vernicia montana Lour. oil using a co-solvent method and the subsequent evaluation of its stability during storage. 13.06.2018.
This article was originally published on Energy Today