Utilization of CaO catalyst for transesterifying vegetable oil into its methyl ester is advantageous to biodiesel production. One of the advantages is to make it possible to recycle the by-produced glycerol as a furnace fuel, because none of the corrosive matter such as alkali-metal compounds is contained. In this research work, CaO catalysts were prepared by calcining limestone, precipitated calcium carbonate and dolomite at 900 °C, for the purpose of studying the practical source material of CaO catalyst. The prepared CaO catalysts were employed for transesterification of soybean oil with refluxing methanol. Limestone was turned into the least active catalyst after the calcination, while the most active catalyst was dolomite-deriving CaO. Concerning limestone, presence of impurities such as silica, alumina and ferrite enhanced the catalytic activity. The catalytic activity was related to the basic properties which were measured by CO2-TPD. Additionally, an influence of the calcination temperature on the catalytic activity was investigated with a view of deeply understanding CaO catalyst deriving from a variety of the calcium carbonate-containing sources.
The aim of the Japanese cabinet council's 'Biomass Nippon Strategy' is to increase the utilization of biomass as one of the ways to reduce the dependence on fossil resources. However, there are various problems associated with the use biomass, one of which is the cost associated with the collection and transportation of biomass. Biomass has high moisture content and low bulk density. The biomass solidification technology developed by Ida et al. partly aims to solve the transportability problem. This study shows physical properties of high density and hardness of the new briquette produced from herby biomass. The relationship between apparent density and maximum compressive strength and an effect on the maximum compressive strength by black colorization are considered. Also, an attempt is made to explain the effect on properties of the briquette by hemi-cellulose and lignin in the region before semi-carbonized region. As a result, the relation between the apparent density and the compressive strength shows that maximum value exists as characteristics of the herby briquette. The maximum apparent density for all processing conditions is 1.38 g/cm3 at the initial moisture 0.10 kg/kg-wet - processing temperature 473 K. The maximum compressive strength for all processing conditions is 127 MPa at the initial moisture 0.05 kg/kg-wet - processing temperature 453 K. Furthermore, the effect of black colorization indicates that when the area of black colorization is increased for the surface of herby biomass briquette by increased in the processing temperature, the maximum compressive strength is decreased due to reduction in the adhesion of lignin. Consequently, high-density and high-hardness of the new briquette can be controlled by the initial moisture and the processing temperature.
Steel industries need to increase the use of low-grade coals in coke making due to the recent rapid increase in coking coal price. To do so, it is necessary to effectively use binders, and it is desired to develop a theory on how to mix coals and binders effectively. In this work the coal fractionation method proposed by the authors was applied to characterize coals and binders. Three different-rank coals and two binders (HPC developed by Kobe Steel and ASP) that were heat-treated at 400°C in advance were separated into several fractions having different molecular weight by sequential solvent extractions at different temperatures up to 350°C. The chemical and physical properties of each fraction were found to be almost independent of the coal and binder types. Then, it was clarified that the thermoplastic behaviors of the mixture of coals and binders can be explained by focusing on the relative abundance of the fractions in the mixture. It is therefore possible to determine an appropriate mixing ratio of coals and binders to realize the thermoplastic behavior required to obtain high-strength coke. This approach can be expected as a new mixing theory which is applicable even to low-grade coals and newly-developed binders.
The overall vision of the Philippine government is the reduced dependence on imported energy through environmentally desirable options such as the use of bioethanol. Sugarcane is considered to be tested and ready for bioethanol production. This paper presents the value addition from sugarcane production to processing into bioethanol as well as the prospects of the bioethanol industry in the Philippines. The total value added for the industry is the summation of all the value added in each enterprise such as personnel remuneration or the wages paid, taxes and duties earned by the government from the enterprises, depreciation and interest on investments, and the entrepreneur's net profit. Total value added (including the profits generated out of the by-products) of bioethanol production amounted to PhP82,716.79 (US$1,879.93)/ha production of sugarcane processed into bioethanol. Bioethanol production showed optimistic results in terms of employment created and government income through taxes. The total number of man-days required in the whole process from sugarcane production to ethanol production summed up to 130 man-day/ha/year. Tax revenues were estimated at PhP2,277 (US$51.76)/ha/year. The bioethanol industry has great potential of contributing to the reduction of the country's dependence on imported fossil fuel with due regard to the protection of public health and the environment, at the same time providing opportunities for livelihood for poverty alleviation and sustainable economic development and energy security.