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Fuel Processing Technology
j o u r n a l h o m e p a g e : w w w. e l s ev i e r. c o m / l o c a t e / f u p r o c
Techno-economic analysis of a biodiesel production process from vegetable oils
A.A. Apostolakou a, I.K. Kookos a,⁎, C. Marazioti a, K.C. Angelopoulos b
Department of ChemicalEngineering, University of Patras, Rio 26504, Patras, Greece Department of Biology, University of Patras, Rio 26504, Patras, Greece
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Biodiesel, which is deﬁned as the monoalkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from a renewable lipid feedstock, has received considerable attention worldwide as a medium-term alternative to diesel fuel obtainedfrom petroleum. Biodiesel can be produced by the transesteriﬁcation of vegetable oils or animal fats using short-chain alcohols in the presence of a suitable catalyst and glycerol is the only byproduct obtained in signiﬁcant quantities. In this work a techno-economic analysis of a process that produces biodiesel from vegetable oils is presented with the aim to investigate the dependence of thecritical proﬁtability indicators on the production capacity. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Article history: Received 9 September 2008 Received in revised form 23 April 2009 Accepted 24 April 2009 Keywords: Biodiesel production Economic analysis Process design
1. Introduction Biodiesel, which is deﬁned as the monoalkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from a renewable lipidfeedstock, has received considerable attention worldwide as a medium-term alternative to diesel fuel obtained from petroleum. Biodiesel can be produced by the transesteriﬁcation of oils with short-chain alcohols, such as methanol, or by the esteriﬁcation of free fatty acids (FFA). The transesteriﬁcation reaction is taking place in the presence of a suitable catalyst such as alkali or acid andglycerol is the only byproduct produced. Approximately 100 kg of oil reacts with 10 kg of methanol to produce 100 kg of biodiesel and 10 kg of glycerol. Biodiesel can also be produced at supercritical conditions in the absence of any catalyst or through biochemical routes based on the use of enzymes . The main advantages of biodiesel are a) it is made from renewable resources that can be produceddomestically b) it produces less carbon monoxide, particulates, and sulfur dioxide emissions c) it produces 78% less carbon dioxide and d)it is biodegradable, non-toxic and safer to handle. The main disadvantages are its high price, the increased nitrogen oxide emissions and the concerns about its impact on the durability of diesel engines when used in pure form (B100). As part of a range of measuresto reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the EU is encouraging the use of biofuels (both biodiesel and bioethanol) and the EU Biofuels Directive requires 5.75% of the energy for transport to come from renewable sources by the end of 2010 (10% by 2020). Transport fuels account for around 25% of EUs greenhouse gas emissions and demand for diesel and petrol is fast rising and, by 2020, fuel consumption isestimated to reach 325 Mt. Europe and US
⁎ Corresponding author. E-mail address: email@example.com (I.K. Kookos). 0378-3820/$ – see front matter © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.fuproc.2009.04.017
biodiesel producers, in an effort to reduce production costs by taking advantage of the economies of scale, transition to larger biodiesel production plants .While currently the average biodiesel production plant capacity is around 40 kt/year it is envisaged that plants with capacities as large as 800 kt/year will be built in the near future . Europe has dominated the biodiesel industry up-to-date with 90% of global production where tax exemptions and national targets introduced through EU directives are driving the market. The EU produced 2.4 Mt...