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					                                                                                                                  prepared by NEEIC
                                               Biodiesel Fact Sheet                                             http://www.neeic.org


       Transesterification                              Market Overview                                 Gasification
The most well-established technology for                                                    Biomass is converted into a gaseous
biodiesel production is transesterification.                                                mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, &
                                                                                            carbon dioxide by applying heat under
The process involves filtering the                                                          pressure in the presence of steam and a
feedstock (vegetable oil or animal fats) to                                                 controlled amount of oxygen.
remove water and contaminants, and then
mixing the feedstock with methanol and a                                                    The biomass is chemically broken apart
catalyst.                                                                                   by heat, steam, and oxygen, setting into
                                               Biodiesel made up 84% of the 3 Mtoe of       motion chemical reactions that produce a
This process causes the oil molecules to
break apart and reform into esters
                                               all biofuels produced and consumed in        synthesis gas, “syngas,”- a mixture of
                                               the European Union in 2005. Germany          hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon
(biodiesel) and glycerol, which are then
                                               accounted for 62% of EU biodiesel            dioxide.
separated from each other and purified. A
                                               output, with the rest coming from France,
by-product of this process is glycerine,
                                               Italy, and Spain. The United States          The Fischer-Tropsch process converts
which is used in many types of cosmetics,
                                               produced 220 ktoe of biodiesel in 2005.      syngas into diesel fuel.
medicines, and foods.

              Biodiesel Production Costs                                        Key Drivers in the European Union
 The cost of producing biodiesel depends on the type of feedstock
 and conversion technology. The current cost of biodiesel
                                                                          European biodiesel production tripled between 2000 and
 production is estimated to be $0.60/litre of diesel equivalent in
                                                                          2005 due to the adoption of strong national incentives in
 Europe (based on rapeseed) and $0.50/litre in the United States
                                                                          an attempt to meet E.U. targets.
 (based on soybeans). Production costs are projected to fall to just
 of $0.30/litre in the U.S. and $0.40/litre in the E.U.
                                                                           Under the EU Common Agricultural Policy and a trade
                                                                          agreement with the U.S., set-aside land (land left fallow in
                                                                          return for subsidy payments) can be used to grow biofuels
                                                                          crops up to 1 million tons of soybean equivalent per year.
                                                                           Member states are permitted to levy lower excise taxes
                                                                          on biofuels than on conventional fuels.
                                                                           Several countries provide financial incentives for
                                                                          investment in biorefineries.
                                                                           2003 European directive requires all member states to
                                                                          set non-binding targets for a minimum share of biofuels in
                                                                          the road-transport fuels markets.


                Biodiesel Emissions                                         U.S. Biodiesel Production Capacity
 According to the U.S. Department of Energy, biodiesel           • Presently 148 companies have invested in the development of
 production and use, in comparison to petroleum diesel,         biodiesel manufacturing plants and are actively marketing
 produces 78.5% few carbon dioxide emissions.                   biodiesel.
 Biodiesel is also the only alternative fuel to submit a        • Annual production capacity from existing biodiesel plants is 1.39
 complete evaluation of emissions results and health            billion gallons per year.
 effects to the U.S. EPA under the Clean Air Act Section        • 96 companies have reported that their plants are under
 211(b):                                                        construction and will be completed within the next 18 months.
 • The ozone forming potential of biodiesel hydrocarbons        • An additional 5 plants are expanding their existing operations.
 is less than petroleum diesel fuel.                            • New production capacity has the potential to add 1.89 billion
 • Sulfur emissions are essentially eliminated.                 gallons of biodiesel per year.
 • Reductions in carbon monoxide, particulates,                Biodiesel Production Plants under Construction as of June 2007
 hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides.

U.S. EPA: Biodiesel Impacts on Exhaust Emissions

				
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posted:9/4/2011
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