Jul 06, 2012
Small-scale biodiesel production offers fuel-supplement, new-revenue prospectsBack
Dubai|London|Africa|Building|Diesel|Generators|Petroleum|Sustainable|System|Systems|Trucks|Waste|Africa|Mexico|Mozambique|Paraguay|South Africa|United Kingdom|United States|Coconut Oil|Crude Palm Oil|Energy|Food Crops|Food Oil-yielding|Logistics|Oil|Oil Molecule|Oil Producers|Oil Users|Oil-yielding Crops|Oil-yielding-crop Farmers|Product|Service|Systems|Value Chain|Value Product|James Hygate|Prince|Skosana|Waste|Dubai|BIOFUELS|Diesel |Green Fuels Technology
© Reuse this
“There must be an existing market for the food crops for a sustainable biofuels industry to exist. Biofuels from waste oils do not compete with food crops and also allow for the use of non- food oil-yielding crops such as camelina and the jatropha berry to produce high-value fuels for use in the communities,” he notes.
Chicken fat, waste cooking oils, crude palm oil and coconut oil are being used in Paraguay, the UK, Mexico, the US and Mozambique to produce biodiesel which runs taxi fleets, bus fleets and the Royal Train in the UK, he notes.
“The scale of our Fuelmatic systems, ranging from 3 000 ℓ a day to 20 000 ℓ a day, has been proven successful the world over during its nine years of service and is suited to local applications, while the distribution of the biodiesel can be done from site to local markets.
“There is immense opportunity for local farmers – in particular subsistence farmers – to become more sustainable. The scale of the biodiesel plants means that community structures can be created that provide formal employment opportunities, additional markets for waste oils, seeds and damaged crops, as well as a secondary market for oilseed producers,” says Prince Skosana, MD of Matayo Biofuels, Green Fuels’ partner in South Africa.
“Cooking oils can be sold, used and resold to produce biodiesel, which improves the value chain for oil-yielding-crop farmers and oil producers, and enables oil users to recoup some of the costs of the oils used,” notes Hygate.
Demand for fossil fuels will increasingly outstrip supply, while the volatility of petroleum prices increases the risks for farmers dependent on fuel to operate, he says.
Biodiesel can be produced in a 1:1 ratio from oils through a transesterification process that unbinds the three fatty acid strands from an oil molecule’s glycerine and binds them to an alcohol, usually methanol. The machine then automatically removes the glycerine, through a patented glycerine separator, and purifies the resultant fuel through an ion-exchange process, he explains.
The machines are simple to operate, require little energy and are modular, which means that production could be increased as the supply of oil and the scale of production increase, says Hygate.
Further, the biodiesel contains no sulphur and burns cleaner than mineral diesel, releasing 60% to 80% less particulates, which reduces injector fouling and improve engine life. This is especially noticeable in diesel generators that run below their full generating capacity, notes Hygate.
“Larger biofuel plants often fail because they cannot secure a reliable supply of used oils to convert to biofuels. However, community-scale biofuel production enables farmers, entrepreneurs and established companies to start on a small scale and easily ramp up production as more oil is secured.”
A typical restaurant would produce 300 ℓ to 400 ℓ of used oil a month. McDonald’s in Dubai uses 100% of the waste cooking oil from its restaurants and runs its entire logistics fleet of trucks on the resulting bio- diesel, he highlights.
“The Green Fuels technology can provide a channel for collected used oils, is economically sustainable owing to its small scale and can help to address energy challenges. Farmers can formalise the collection of oils and the distribution of biofuels in a community, or as a cooperative venture,” notes Skosana.
There is tangible value added to local communities and the system could also be used in cities. A restaurant can operate a single delivery vehicle on the biodiesel it produces each month, while remote farmers can produce their own biodiesel and secure a portion of their fuel at a much lower cost, says Hygate.
In London, PricewaterhouseCoopers runs its head office building on biodiesel produced from used cooking oil, as do many London taxis.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other News This Week News
Updated 47 minutes ago The new systems showcased by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture on Tuesday were expected to provide a gateway for industry and policy-makers in the Western Cape to the latest intelligence from the sector and served as an important decision-making tool. The...
Updated 1 hour 1 minute ago JSE-listed Quantum Foods expects that its earnings per share (EPS) for the six months to March 31 will increase between 556% and 576% in relation to the previous corresponding period, lifting its forecast for the period. The company reported on Tuesday that this...
Updated 1 hour 27 minutes ago Acknowledging the shortage of access points to connect renewable-energy projects developed under government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) to the national grid, Eskom system operator Bernard Magoro on Wednesday...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Mercedes-Benz will launch ten plug-in hybrid models by 2017, says the German automaker’s parent company, Daimler. Following the launch of the S 500 plug-in hybrid, March saw the introduction of the C 350 e, the second model to feature the drive-train concept. Under...
Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson's recent unveiling of something of a road map for an upscaled and accelerated deployment of independent power producer (IPP) capacity has been widely welcomed. Besides plans to accelerate and expand the hitherto successful...
South African Airways (SAA) acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout has firmly denied reports that a stake in the airline was going to be sold to Air China. “Categorically, SAA is not in any talks with any airline to sell itself at the moment,” he stated at a media briefing at...
Russian State-owned nuclear group Rosatom has confirmed that it is in talks with Nigeria about the construction of nuclear power plants (NPPs) in that country, but has denied that any agreement has been signed. This follows a recent report in the Nigerian media that...
Gas products and services company Afrox has launched a pilot programme to deliver its range of Handigas liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to domestic consumers to fill a gap in the market, thereby expanding its direct contact with end-users.