Bio Diesel Laboratory

The Bio-Diesel plant in Delhi Technological University

What is biodiesel?

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel which is produced from vegetable oil or animal fat through a chemical process and can be used as either direct substitute, extender or as an additve to fossil diesel fuel in compresion ignition engines. The most promising feature of biodiesel is that it can be utilized in existing design of diesel engine with no or very little modifications. It has positive energy balance and it is enviornmtally benign.

Chief rationale of biodiesel adapation

Energy sources are the main driver of economic growth and social development of a country. Oil and gas still provide more than half of the total global energy demands. There is an ever increasing gap between the supply and demand of fossil fuels owing to rapid industrialization and urban development. In India, the interest in biodiesel has grown vividly during the last few years. The chief rationale for biodiesel in India is energy security.

Better environmental performance, greening of wastelands and creation of new employment opportunities - are seen as some of the other advantages of biodiesel.

The primary consumption of India vis-à-vis World in 2006 is given below to show energy dependence of our country on fossil derived fuels.

Oil Natural Gas Coal Nuclear Hydro electric Total
India 120.3 35.8 237.7 4.0 25.4 423.2
World 3889.8 2574.9 3090.1 635.5 688.1 10878.5

Self Reliance

The production of crude petroleum in India in 2006 was 32.19 as against its consimption of 131.6 million tonne showing a self reliance of 24.4% only . Government of India has spent 1717.02 billion rupess towards import of crude petroleum in 2005-06 causing a heavy burden on Indian foreign reserves.

Diesel vs Gasoline

India unlike other developed countries is essentially a diesel driven economy. Diesel is widely used as a fuel in transport, agriculture and industrial sectors. The consumption of diesel in 2006 was 40.15 million tonne as against gasoline consimption of 8.64 million tonne.

Biodiesel R&D at Delhi College of Engineering-

Considering the national need, Delhi College of Engineering started its biodiesel research programme in year 2000 and has since emerged as a leading technological institute of India which has been accredited as the hub of advanced level research in propagation of petro-plants, their improved agro-practices, development of indigenous biodiesel production technology, design and development of small to medium capacity biodiesel processing unit, quality assurance of biodiesel and trial of biodiesel in diesel engines and vehicles.

Biodiesel from a variety of feedstocks such as Mahua, Linseed, Rice Bran, waste cooking oil from the Mc Donalds, Crude Palm, Castor, Jatropha and Karanja have already been prepared and process optimization has been completed. These biodiesel have been tested in diesel engines & vehicles. The research team has also developed technology to convert high FFA, low quality feedstocks in to biodiesel. The college developed small capacity biodiesel reactors of 5 & 10 liters in 2003. The reactor being capable of producing quality biodiesel are economically viable solution for making biodiesel for the replacement of the costly fossils in the rural areas. The college developed its 100 liter per batch biodiesel processing unit in 2004. As a part of capacity enhancement, the college developed a 600 liter per day biodiesel processing unit as a part of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt. of India research project.