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Small-scale production of straight vegetable oil from rapeseed and its use as biofuel in the Spanish territory
Baquero Grau, Esteban Bernat, Rius Antoni, Riba Jordi-Roger1, Puig Rita
Escola Universitària d’Igualada (EUETII-Escola d’Adoberia), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.
Plaça del Rei 15, 08700 Igualada (Catalunya, Spain), Tel. +34 938035300, Fax +34 938031589. 1 Corresponding author: email@example.com
Biofuels nowadays are an important topic of study. The most significant point is the availability of bioethanol or biodiesel and their production from different raw materials. It is already known that large scale production of first-generation biodiesel cannot be seen as an alternative to fossil fuels due to land requirements, competition with food, increase in fertilizer requirements and pressure on tropical forests among others. This fact does not necessarily apply to second-generation biofuels or small scale niche productions. Straight vegetable oil (SVO) can be used directly in diesel engines with minor modifications. Our proposal is a small-scale SVO production system for self-supply in agricultural machinery. In this paper a model to provide SVO to local farmers in a specific area in Catalonia (Spain) is presented. We also present a discussion about the regulations to be changed in order to make possible the incorporation of SVO as engine fuel in diesel vehicles and a comparative analysis between the emissions of tractors fed with SVO and petrodiesel. Moreover a quantitative economic analysis of modifying diesel engines and long-term operability costs are shown and a first- run economic analysis comparing the actual crop rotation with the proposed one and some alternatives is studied.
Keywords: straight vegetable oil (SVO), rapeseed, cake meal, self-supply, biofuels 1. INTRODUCTION
The growing demand for energy, the depletion of petrol, the instability of world fuel prices and concerns about global warming are factors that focus the interest in renewable energy sources and in bioenergy, in particular (Morrone et al., 2008). Frequently bioenergy is presented as an environmentally friendly and locally available source of energy. Therefore bioenergy is emerging as a key factor in both developmental and environmental terms (FAO, 2005). Biofuels are an essential component of bioenergy because transport plays an important role in the world’s total energy demand.
As pointed out by Russi (2008), biofuels are often presented as being “green” because of their contribution to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. But their “greenness” depends greatly on diverse aspects such as agricultural techniques applied, fertilizer and pesticide use, intensive use of land, transportation requirements, and a possible competition with food, among others. As Russi argues, large scale production of first-generation biofuels is not sustainable because it would imply severe environmental and social impacts including enormous land requirements, increases in food import and fertilizer requirements and much less CO2 savings than expected.
As an example of the enormous land requirements, the total energy consumption for transportation during 2007 in Spain is estimated in 42.1Mtoe (Eurostat database). Being the lower calorific value of
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