Published on March 9, 2014
Plant-based biofuel Paliza Shrestha, Mount Holyoke College ES-390
Background Current ways of energy use is unsustainable Demand for renewable energy sources is expected to rise in future Biofuel gaining worldwide popularity since first manufactured in Europe U.S. promoting industrial biofuel to solve climate crisis Small scale biofuel projects sprouting in rural communities
What is biofuel? Liquid fuel produced from plant products Category: Biodiesel, ethanol, methanol, pure vegetable oil An alternative to petroleum based fuel Palm seeds Biodiesel feed stocks: •Palm •Coconut •Jatropha curcas • Rapeseed/ Mustard seed •Sunflower •Corn •Soybean •Peanuts •Algae •Used restaurant oil •Animal fats Coconut seeds Jatropha seeds Rapeseeds Sunflower seeds Pond Algae Corn Soybean seeds
How is biodiesel made? Alcohol (Ethanol, Methanol) Catalyst (NaOH/KOH) & HEAT! Esters of 3 fatty acid chains Vegetable Oil Molecule Biodiesel Glycerine molecule which is separated out
Industrial biofuel and environmental degradation • Massive deforestation in tropical rainforest in Indonesia to convert to oil palm plantations – • 8% of global CO2 emissions 21% of Brazil’s agricultural land converted to soy bean plantation – Displaced over 300,000 people • Since Jan 2003, 70,000 km2 of Amazon rainforest cleared for biofuel production • Forests and soil store 3x the amount of CO2 than does the atmosphere More…. • High production costs (energy) • Competition between food crop and fuel crop • Price increases in world grains, cereals and vegetable oils
Can biofuels work sustainably? I think so… At the local level in isolated rural communities with • intermingled with development projects • effective government policies to protect farmers from competition • decentralized • Small scale biodiesel plants in developing countries had led to • rural electrification • improving irrigation & agriculture • job creation • women empowerment • power to local community • self sufficiency
Engine driven oil expeller An hour of pedaling activity converts Biodiesel plant to power butter vegetable oil to biodiesel in an Indian village. processing equipment, Ghana, initiated The fuel is used to run irrigation pumps, tillers, by women’s group and UNIFEM rice hulling mills and generate electricity.
Steps to initiating pilot projects in rural communities • • • • • • • • • Mobilize community groups , e.g. 10 to 15 households Awareness workshops including gender sensitivity Engage local men and women in interactive dialogue and discussions Install irrigation pump and oil expeller for each community group Provide skill training and instruction manuals Form Village energy committee Encourage household to plant jatropha plants in their private wastelands or in poorer sections of their field, e.g. on the borders of the fields Conduct technical and business skill training to women from preparing organic fertilizer from oil cake to producing vegetable cash crops to sell in the market Establish a small micro-finance bank so villagers can take loans
Biodiesel processor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_U7Lk89dXw Ethanol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59R-NqykoXs&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqfW0VmONXc&feature=related Algae http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dBLVtAMn5A&NR=1&feature=fvwp http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9_-ZguuhBw&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRYcEPVsKhg&feature=related
Bibliography Greg Pahl. Biodiesel: Growing a new energy economy. 2007. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, White Rive Junction, VT. Biofuels for transport: Global potential and implications for sustainable energy and agriculture. Worldwatch Institute. 2007. Camden High Street, London, UK. Biofuels for sustainable rural development and empowerment of women. 2009. ENERGIA. The Netherlands. Vandana Shiva. Soil Not Oil. 2008. South End Press, Cambridge, MA.
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