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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Non-usual biodiesel uses

Posted by Krzysztof Lis on March 28, 2008

I read today a nice article about 15 Unexpected Uses for Biodiesel. While I was surprised that biodiesel can be used for so many different purposes, I must say that some of them IMHO don’t make sense…

The very first use is to produce hydrogen from biodiesel (or any other liquid fuel). I think, that at this moment, the use of hydrogen as a fuel is not justified. There’s only one device that justifies it — the fuel cell (also mentioned in the article). But the fuel cells aren’t popular yet. If you’d like to fuel the fuel cell with some biofuel, try biogas. Some fuel cells (I believe that SOFC – Solid Oxide Fuel Cells) can use the biogas with no trouble at all. And let’s be honest — it’s easier to find some biodigestible matter than vegetable oil required for biodiesel production

Third idea — use biodiesel to produce electricity. This is nothing very exploratory, the diesel engine fueled by biodiesel can be used for powering a car or a genset. What difference does it make? My comment is the same as above — use biogas instead!

Fourth idea — burn biodiesel in your furnace / boiler instead of heating oil. Cool idea, I must say, but it is also possible to use straight vegetable oil for this purpose (I’ll write an article on this subject in future (if I forget, don’t hesitate to rush me via e-mail)), so why bother to produce biodiesel from vegetable oil first?

Seventh idea — mix biodiesel with petrodiesel to improve fuel lubricity. Very smart idea. Reducing sulphur content in petrodiesel reduces it’s lubricity, so you need to add something to improve it. Biodiesel is a nice suplement, since it’s biodegradable, non-toxic and so on.

The other ideas aren’t worth mentioning, but I encourage you to read the article. Perhaps you’ll find some new use for your biodiesel left-overs. ;)

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