2012 Volume 55 Issue 6 Pages 349-357
From the viewpoint of primary energy diversification and CO2 reduction, interests of using biomass fuel for transportation fuels are rising. Some kinds of FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Esters), which are obtained from oil fats like vegetable oil using transesterification reaction with methanol, are getting popular for bio-diesel recently. As FAME has unsaturated carbon–carbon bonds which come from feed materials, its performance such as storage stability is concerned. And there are other points of concern, namely, effects of impurities in FAME on car components. In this current situation, technologies to produce high quality fuels from renewable sources, especially from vegetable oils, using petroleum refinery processes should be promising. In our study of the hydrotreatment of palm oil, what we called "Bio hydro-fined diesel (BHD)," it is possible to obtain from vegetable oil hydrocarbons nearly equal to conventional diesel fuel. BHD consists of alkyl chains derived from fatty acids in vegetable oil. BHD has higher oxidation stability than that of FAME. Evaluation of exhaust gases in engine tests on conventional diesel mixed with 10 % BHD showed same THC (total hydrocarbons), CO, and PM (particulate matter) emission as with base diesel alone. LCA (life cycle assessment) evaluation of BHD, petroleum diesel oil, and FAME produced from palm, although Wheel-to-Tank-CO2 of hydrogenated and FAME is higher than that of diesel, Well-to-Wheel-CO2 is lower due to the application of the biomass zero count rule. On the other hand, Well-to-Tank energy efficiency was same as FAME.