Biodiesel is generally methyl ester, but also ethyl ester and fatty acids higher alcohols ester. It is produced from renewable vegetable and animal fats employing fat transesterification with suitable alcohols generally in an alkaline environment. As a result of the post reaction mixture, glycerol is produced, the ester layer is purified and the product is obtained.
Other raw materials for production of biodiesel are waste animal and vegetable fats containing, apart from residues, considerable amounts of free fatty acids. To obtain biodiesel from the above mentioned raw materials, it is necessary to conduct esterification of fatty acids employing alcohol in an acid environment. After alkali refining, a standard transesterification process is conducted.
According to Directive 2003/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, there should be 5.75% of renewable fuels in the overall fuel market by 2010, and by 2020 this amount should rise to 20%. Currently the existing raw material base is insufficient to meet Directive requirements. The cultivation area of the main source for vegetable fats i.e. rape seed is limited, with the same situation occurring with animal fats. Moreover, methyl and ethyl esters from animal fats have a high cold filter plugging point value which limits their mass fraction as turbo-diesel engine fuel.
There is a need to search new sources of fats which are characterised with desirable properties adequate for biodiesel production. Cameline oil meets the challenge in this respect. Camelina sativa which is used for the production of cameline oil resembles rape seed. It can be grown on low quality damaged soil.
Cameline oil is produced from seeds which undergo extraction, just like rape seed oil from rape seed mash. When considering its composition and fatty acid content, its properties resemble linseed oil, however its thermal stability is much higher. Regarding this, it is perfectly suitable for biodiesel production.
According to our data, production costs of camelina sativa and cameline oil are pretty much the same as rape seed and rape seed oil.
The main aim of the project is to develop a profitable and economically effective method for the production of camelina oil from fatty acid methyl esters as bio-additives for fuels or biofuel for turbo-diesel engines.
To achieve this aim, there is a need to develop the method and conditions for cultivation of camelina sativa in order to enlarge the amount of its crops and to design proper machinery for extraction of cameline oil from camelina sativa seeds.
The project comprises complex actions including:
- Research in the field of genetics in order to produce new types of camelina sativa with enlarged crop efficiency,
- Developing a basis for new genotypes of camelina sativa and their agricultural technology;
- Developing a prototype device for cameline oil extraction;
- Determining the chemical composition of cameline oil from spring and winter crops;
- Developing a cameline oil methyl ester production method;
- Determining the chemical composition and proprieties of cameline oil methyl esters depending on their production conditions;
- Producing methyl ester samples serving as a biofuel or fuel additive for application and certification purposes;
- Determining the chemical and physical proprieties of produced methyl esters regarding their usage as fuel;
- Combustion proprieties of chosen ester samples or their mixtures with other types of fuels (rape seed oil esters, animal fat esters, diesel oil) to determine toxic substance content and its usefulness as biofuel;
- Determining improving agents (corrosion inhibitors, depressants, biocides, oxidation and polymerisation inhibitors for produced fuel mixtures);
- Determining property changes regarding long storage periods of produced fuel mixtures;
- Conducting combustion tests considering different types of mixtures containing cameline oil methyl esters in the laboratory engine and laboratory heater and determining toxic substance content in exhaust gases.
In order to conduct the project activities in a complex and efficient way, an international consortium will be created. The consortium will comprise of partners whose experience and knowledge are mutually compatible across a range of biofuels. The partners are R&D institutions, higher education schools, and firms from the small and medium sized enterprise sector:
1. 'BLACHOWNIA' INSTITUTE OF HEAVY ORGANIC SYNTHESIS (ICSO) - INSTYTUT CIEZKIEJ SYNTEZY ORGANICZNEJ 'BLACHOWNIA' (POLAND) project coordinator
2. CENTRAL PETROLEUM LABORATORY in Warsaw (POLAND)
3. UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE in Poznan (POLAND)
4. LITHUANIAN UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE in Kowno (LITHUANIA)
5. LITHUANIAN INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURE, Vezaiciai Branch (LITHUANIA)
6. KLAIPEDA UNIVERSITY, Maritime Institute
7. 'WIROMA ROBERT JANECZEK' in Kolonia Radostkow (POLAND)
8. JSC 'MESTILLA' in Klaipeda (Lithuania).
Keywords: biofuel, cameline oil.