The Efficiency Of Biodiesel Fuel
The use of Biodiesel fuel for standard diesel engines, either alone or in combination with other fuels, has gathered much attention mostly because of its possible environmental and long-term economical benefits over fossil fuel. The efficiency of biodiesel fuel is the more interesting subject for the researchers and scientists, mainly because its source is renewable. Read on to know more on biodiesel fuel efficiency.
According to a recent study, an average farm consumes fuel at 82 liters per hectare of land to generate one crop. However, an average crop of rapeseed makes oil at an average rate of 1,029 L/ha, and high-yield rapeseed fields produce about 1,356 L/ha . It is clear to notice the ratio of input to output in these cases which is roughly 1:13 and 1:16. Photosynthesis is known to have an efficiency rate of about 3-6% of total solar radiation. Therefore, if the entire crop mass is used for producing energy, the overall efficiency of this chain is currently about 1%.
Comparing the efficiency level of biodiesel fuel to solar cells combined with an electric drive train, biodiesel is less costly to arrange for. However, the present data and statistics are not enough to demonstrate is any such a change will make economic sense. Additional factors must be taken into account to gauge the efficiency of biodiesel fuel. For instance, what would be the fuel corresponding to the energy required for processing? What would be the yield of fuel from raw oil? Will the biodiesel have any effect on food prices? Also the relative cost of biodiesel versus petrodiesel also needs to be looked into.
The debate over the energy balance and efficiency level of biodiesel fuel is still going on.
Although non food crops can be utilized to make biodiesel fuel, transitioning completely to biofuels could necessitate huge expanse of land. Since energy consumption scales with economic output, it can be a major problem for nations with large economies. Most nations perhaps will not have adequate arable land to produce biodiesel fuel for the nation's requirement. Many regions may not be able to divert land away from food production. But in the third world countries, biodiesel fuel sources using marginal land could make more sense, for example, honge oil nuts can be grown along roads or jatropha grown along rail lines. Biodiesel fuel efficiency hence makes more sense in these regions.
To supply to the rising demand of biodiesel fuel in Europe and other markets, some tropical regions, such as Malaysia and Indonesia, are planting oil palm at a fast pace. Cost of producing Palm oil biodiesel fuel is less than one third of the production costs of rapeseed biodiesel.