Biodiesel


The continued growth of Biodiesel production will contribute to the strength of the nations economy. Biodiesel production will reduce foreign oil exports, cut the trade deficit, generate new investment and new jobs, boost farm income and reduce farm subsidies, increase national security and energy security, and reduce our green house gas emissions.


TOUTING BIODIESEL


  • Biodiesel offers lubricity, reducing wear and maintenance on diesel engines and increasing its useful life.
  • B100 is non toxic, environmentally friendly, bio-degradable, essentially free of sulfur and aromatics.
  • Biodiesel provides a net energy gain, for every one unit of energy needed to produce one gallon of Biodiesel 3.24 units are gained.
  • The use of Biodiesel requires no engine modifications, providing the same engine performance.
  • Utilizing Biodiesel reduces marine insurance due to safer spills.
  • Biodiesel reduces compounds linked to Cancer by 80-90%.
  • Biodiesel breaks down 4 times faster than petroleum diesel.
  • Only an estimated 0.6 % of the total rise in food prices over the last 4 years has been contributed to Bio-fuel production.-USDA
  • During the processing of Biodiesel, about 18% of a bushel of soy is extracted to create a natural oil, the remaining 81% is left to make protein rich soybean meal.
  • Soybean farmers used less than 12% of the nations 2007 harvest for Biodiesel production, and 81% went to protein markets to feed people and livestock.
  • Only 1% of the available farmland for agriculture is used for Biodiesel production.
  • Oil and Gas prices would be 15% higher without Biodiesel production (source: Merrill Lynch Commodities Report).
  • Biodiesel's annual contribution to reducing green house gas is now equal to removing 700,000 cars from the roads.
  • An E.P.A. study found that B20 (Blend-stock of Biodiesel up to 20%) reduced tatal Hydrocarbons by up to 30%, Carbon Monoxide up to 20%, and total particulate matter up to 15%.
  • Using Biodiesel creates brand image of being more "Green" and impressing stakeholders and potential investors as well as informing suppliers and customers you are being proactive.
  • There are a variety of Tax Incentives and Rebates as well as Grants available depending on state.
  • States are establishing and increasing Renewable Fuel Standards; Using Biodiesel will establish your company ahead of its competition in Energy Choice and coming legislation and regulation.

TLR Energy's Focus


TLR Energy seeks to develop climate change strategies in order to reduce your carbon footprint. Through product planning, energy choice, or business logistics. Working with one of the fastest growing Biodiesel manufacturers, TLR Energy is able to broker product in a timely and cost efficient manner, providing supreme client service and solving logistical issues. We aim to facilitate your company to be proactive rather than reactive.


BIODIESEL


Biodiesel is a renewable fuel that is made from biological substance (ie. Vegetable oil, Palm oil, Sugar Cane, Miscanthus grass, Sorghum, Soybean oil, Corn oil, or from animal fats such as Tallow) that can be used in a diesel engine.


Biodiesel provides slightly less energy than Diesel, but offers reduced CO2 emissions. According to the National Biodiesel Board, B100 Biodiesel could cut 78% of Carbon emissions from autos and lower carcinogenic properties of Diesel by 94%. Any waste organic product can be utilized if its water content is low enough, its calorific value is high enough, and if there is sufficient supply, that is available nearby, to make it economically feasible.


Cellulosic Biodiesels are predicted by the I.E.A. (International Energy Agency) to supply two thirds of motor fuels by the year 2050. Growth in the U.S. Biodiesel markets has been impressive. The chart below shows the substantial growth.



Transesterification is the process that most manufacturers use to produce industrial Biodiesel; the process takes raw fat or oil and places it through a series of chemical reactions in order for it to become fuel. The part of the raw fat that makes up the Biodiesel is called Esters.


Biodiesel (B100) is defined as "a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats". Biodiesel must also meet all the parameters as set forth by the ASTM (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials – it is now an international organization). Biodiesel is registered with the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) as a fuel and fuel additive under Section 211(b) of the Clean Air Act. Biodiesel is designed as a blend-stock for use in mixing with Diesel fuel. The consensus is that blends up to 20% (B20) will cause no negative impact to performance; though it is discouraged to use blends over 20%.


Biodiesel is produced by the reaction of a vegetable oil or animal fat, with an alcohol such as methanol, or ethanol in the presence of a catalyst, this yields Biodiesel and glycerin. The next process is separating the Biodiesel from the Glycerin, catalysts, soaps and excess alcohol. Now, the B100 must be tested for compliance with the ASTM D6751 standards. Depending on the feedstock used some of the performance criteria and results may vary. Compliance to the specifications of the ASTM is required for all tax incentives and credits. There may be special permits required for handling of the finished product and /or its components. The results must conform to the ASTM in order to be sure the fuel can be used without doing harm to an engine, and receive any applicable tax credits.


BIODIESEL PROPERTIES


Cloud Point is the lowest temperature at which components begin to precipitate from the fuel that may cause operability issues. There are no minimum or maximum requirements, but will vary depending on the feedstock used.


Soy Biodiesel

32 F

Tallow Biodiesel

50-55 F

Canola Biodiesel

27 F

Palm Biodiesel

55-60 F


These are estimates


COLD SOAK FILTRATION is one of the best performance predictors of operability; a sample is chilled to facilitate the forming of precipitates, then warmed to room temperature, and then filtered and timed.


MONOGLYCERIDES form as a result of different feed-stocks having inherently different properties; they are partially converted oils and fats within the fuel. There are studies that show the presence of the smallest amounts of saturated Monoglycerides will raise the Cloud Point significantly, but unsaturated Monoglycerides will not. The substance causes filter plugging and appears as a thick, waxy coating. The higher the saturation the higher the melting point and will require greater diligence and energy to dissolve it back into the solution.


ACID NUMBER is an indicator of the acidic impurities, degradation and/or oxidation of the fuel. As a result of hydrolysis of the feedstock, or faulty processing or oxidation, free fatty acids arise that will create higher values. These oxidative elements are associated with system deposits and corrosion. Organic acids vary widely in corrosion properties, and the results can't be used to predict failures.


FREE GLYCERIN value is the level of by-product Glycerin that exists in the B100.TOTAL GLYCERIN is the amounts of unconverted and partially converted oils and fats. Excessive levels may lead to tank and system filter plugging, and/ or engine fouling.


OXIDATIVE STABILITY is an accelerated test to predict the Biodiesel's stability for longer-term storage, up to six months. As the fuel degrades, or oxidizes, organic acids or polymers are created as a by-product that may result in corrosion or filter plugging.


CETANE NUMBER is a rough equivalent to the Octane Rating for gasoline, providing a measure of the ignition characteristics of the Biodiesel in compression ignition engines. The lowest value 47, is the same as a premium petroleum diesel.


FLASH POINT is used to define flammable and combustible materials for shipping and safety regulations. Biodiesel has a typical result of 130C (twice petroleum diesel) therefore safer to handle. The value is also to assure the residual methanol left in the fuel after processing will not adversely impact combustion and other system components.


VISUAL APPEARANCE may be an indication of impurities or excess water, when there is cloudiness or haze. It is important samples be free of un-dissolved water, sediment, and free matter. At room temperature the Biodiesel should be clear and transparent.


TANKS AND STORAGE

Tanks and storage containers may also contain elements that could alter the quality and performance of the fuel. Most tanks are designed to allow Biodiesels.


Recommended for B100


  • Fluorinated Plastics
  • Teflon
  • Aluminum
  • Carbon
  • Stainless Steel
  • Nylon
  • Viton
  • Fiberglass (most)

Not Recommended for B100


  • Nitrile
  • Buna N
  • Natural Rubber
  • Lead
  • Tin
  • Zinc
  • Polypropylene
  • Polyethylene
  • Brass
  • Copper
  • Bronze

Their presence will accelerate the oxidation of the Biodiesel, possibly leading to corrosion and /or the creation of sediments.


Storage of Biodiesel should entail much care to prevent the presence of free water in the tanks. Water could lead to microbial contamination in the form of bacterial and fungal growth. Biocides are affective but the tank must be cleaned of dead organisms, to prevent filter plugging.


It is recommended that the Biodiesel be maintained at least 10-15F above the reported Cloud Point. It is important to maintain the proper product temperature through delivery. If one is unable to keep B100 at the right temperature, it is advised to blend the B100 with petroleum right away. If the fuel approaches its Cloud Point, certain components, particularly saturated compounds, will crystallize out of the solution and settle to the bottom. The amount of heat needed to bring the material back into solution often is greater than the energy to maintain the original temperature. The use of no.1 Diesel, or Kerosene, is an option that many blenders use to help mitigate the effects of cold weather. When blending Biodiesel and Petroleum, both products should be similar temperatures to facilitate blending and promote homogeneity. When blending the Biodiesel should be at least 25-30F above its Cloud Point.


The different ways to blend vary in effectiveness, the least being "splash" method, one product loaded on top of the other; this method is dependent on the agitation of the product and the vessel to mix. Ratio blending loads the products sequentially; the larger volume product is partially loaded and then stopped to permit the minority product to load. "In-line" or "injection" blending has separate load lines piped together; this promotes uniformity, and homogeneity.


The largest threat to Biodiesel in transporting is residue within the vessel from prior loads; one should have dedicated vessels. If previous loads are not approved, it should be cleaned and provide a wash certificate. The vessels should be made of approved materials; Biodiesel is compatible with Aluminum and Stainless Steel trailers. The standard trailer style is MC306, an oval shaped tank. Insulated trailers are recommended during the winter to ensure the products integrity; insulated trailers will typically lose 2-4F /day, as opposed to un-insulated trailers up to 15F / day.


Typical railcars are of the DOT 111A or AAR 111A series type; they are made of carbon steel and unlined, with capacities of 25,500 or 29,300 gallons. In cold weather low pressure steam connections are needed on the underside to keep the product adequately heated.


Biodiesel contains no hazardous materials and is considered safe to use.


Biodiesel will enable utilities, farmers and transportation fleets to help meet their carbon emission reduction targets and allow for improved public image and brand image. As noted the growth in this sector is exploding and expected to grow. When a Cap and Trade programs expand to more industries, companies are going to need to be prepared ahead of the legislative progress, thus likely bring further interest to this sector. A concern for the Biodiesel industry growth is the potential saturation of the market for glycerin.


References:
National Biodiesel Board, http://www.biodiesel.org/
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, http://www.nrel.gov/
American Society for Testing & Materials, http://www.astm.org/


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