Thursday, November 11, 2010

Research Paper on Biodiesel

Research Paper on Biodiesel

In 1895, Rudolf Diesel invented the diesel engine and used biodiesel made from peanut oil to fuel the engine (Emery 44). Biodeisel is made from domestic, renewable vegetable products like soybean oil and recycled cooking grease (Emery 44). Biodiesel is the best alternative fuel because it helps the environment by reducing CO2 emissions, it’s easy to convert to from regular diesel engines, and it’s a domestic, renewable energy source. B20 is a biodiesel blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel (McClearn EBSCO). B20 is the common standard for biodisel use (McClearn EBSCO).

Gene Gebolys, the president of World Energy Alternatives said:
Biodiesel is not just for agriculture anymore, about once every 10 years, we get a strong reminder of just how dependent we are on foreign oil and why we shouldn’t be. We need to find new uses for our agricultural oil excess, and we need to find new sources of domestic clean energy. (Emery 44)

Possible uses for biodiesel includes using it in cars and fuel for vehicles used in mines, regular diesel fuels hurt the miners health (McClearn EBSCO). Soybean oil has successfully powered cars, buses, and now boats. Now the researchers of the federal government’s Agricultural Research Service have found a way to blend jet fuel with beanbased fuel (“Soybean Oil May Soon Fuel Jet Planes” EBSCO). The oil for making biodiesel is made from: corn, coffee, cashew, linseed, oat, hazelnut, palm, euphorbia, lupine, pumpkin seed, rubber seed, sesame, kenof, sunflower, tung oil tree, rape seed, jatropha, olive tree, macadamia nut, castor bean, brazil nut, jujube, avocado, pecan, coconut, oil palm, and macba palm oil (“Oil Producing Plants” Internet).


To make biodiesel:
A fat or oil is reacted with an alcohol like methanol, in the presence of a catalyst to produce glycerin and methyl ester (biodiesel). The methanol is charged in excess to assist in quick conversion and recovered for reuse. The catalyst is usually sodium or potassium hydroxide which has already been mixed with the methanol. (“Biodiesel Production” Internet)

Biodiesel is made with a catalyst to lower the reaction temperature to 150' F and the pressure to 20 PSI, so that the conversion to methyl ester (biodiesel) requires no immediate steps, and makes the conversion to 98% (“Biodiesel Production” Internet).

How biodiesel helps the environment is that it reduces carbon monoxide and sulfur emissions compared to regular petroleum diesel (McClearn EBSCO). Promoters compare its emission smell to the smell of french fries or popcorn (McClearn EBSCO). Biodiesel emission decreases the amount of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and nitrated PAH compounds, which can cause cancer (“Commonly Asked Questions” Internet). PAH compounds where reduced by 75-85% (“Commonly Asked Questions” Internet). Benzo(a) anthrucene was reduced by about 50% (“Commonly Asked Questions” Internet). Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel that has fully completed the Clean Air Act (“Commonly Asked Questions” Internet) Biodiesel is easy to convert to from petroleum oil because all you have to do is empty your fuel tank and fill it with biodiesel (Emery 44). Biodiesel also increases lubrication more than regular petroleum diesel. Even if biodiesel is distilled in petroleum diesel below 1% it will increase the lubrication up to 65% (“Biodiesel Performance” Internet).

People should use biodiesel because it provides similar fuel usage to torque, horsepower, and haulage rates compared to regular diesel in a 15 million-mile in-field test (Emery 44). If a bus travels about 16500 miles in a year diesel fuel will cost about $11,190 and biodiesel fuel will cost about $11,850 (“Alternative Fuel Comparison” Internet). A lost of fleet managers have decided to use biodiesel as an alternative fuel to meet the demands of the federal and state laws, it is also the least costly (engine conversion and the fuel) (“Commonly Asked Questions” Internet).

A few problems with biodiesel is that is clouds in cold weather (“Biodiesel Performance” Internet). B20 has an increase of the cold flow properties so it wont could above 3-5F (“Biodiesel Performance” Internet). To solve the clouding problem, it has been suggested to either store your vehicle in a warm area or live in a warm climate. Biodiesel costs about 12-15 cents more per gallon the petroleum (Emery 44). Biodiesel softens and degrades certain types of natural rubbers. Using a high percentage of biodiesel will result in the degrading of system components, mainly the fuel hose and the fuel pump seals (“Biodiesel Production” Internet).

Biodiesel is the best alternative fuel because it helps the environment by reducing CO2 emissions, it’s easy to convert to with regular diesel engines, and it’s a domestic, renewable energy source. With more research, the problems with biodiesel may be solvable. As an alternative fuel it is clean, efficient, and conversion is simple. With mass production the cost would go down as well.

Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on any writing topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

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