Biodiesel refers to a non-petroleum-based diesel fuel consisting of short chain alkyl (methyl or ethyl) esters, made by transesterification of vegetable oil or animal fat (tallow), which can be used (alone, or blended with conventional petrodiesel) in unmodified diesel-engine vehicles.
One of the main bases for the adoption of biodiesel is environmental conservation and energy security. This means that the global safety is paramount and given desired attention and a nation’s dependence on fossil oil is reduced and substituted with use of renewable energy.
The feedstock initiative we have researched for production of Biodiesel is Safflower. The type is non-edible varieties that have short duration of 120-140 days from plant to harvest and can be cropped twice a year. The average yield per year is estimated at 4.7 MT/ Hectare and producing oil content of about 30% to 36%.
The crop is fairly drought resistant and can grow well up to 400 mm rainfall, has wide adaptability with capability of growing between 40ºN to 25ºS, versatile for soil conditions, moderately salt tolerant, Sub-zero to 40ºC temperature, mechanical cultivation and harvesting for large scale farming even without a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The refinery for biodiesel is integrated is an add-on to the refinery for biofuels. It is basically an extract-and-refine process technology. It is estimated that approximately 100,000 litres will be produced daily and supplied to waiting market at the ruling commercial price.
The major advantage of the integrated technology and business operations is that high level of economies of scale is achieved and profitability in the short-term period is feasible