In this world of climate change and global warming, it is important that we find new ways to fuel our vehicles and machines. Bio-fuel is one of the materials that many scientists have agreed will play a big role in helping reduce the levels of pollution around the world.
What is bio-fuel?
For a long time now, the world has run on fuel manufactured from fossils. Lately, these fuels have been found to pollute the environment and have detrimental effects to the water, soil, food, climate and health of people. To overcome these problems brought about by these fuels an alternative was sought and the result was bio-fuels.
Bio-fuel is a fuel alternative that is produced from biomass. It is also known as agro-fuel as it is produced mostly from crops and crop remains. In addition to agricultural products, bio-fuel manufacturing is also done with biological industrial waste, domestic and commercial waste.
Bio-fuel can exist in solid, liquid or gas states.
The bio-fuel manufacturing process
Bio-fuels can be easily manufactured. Manufacturing bio-fuels especially from agricultural products is quite easy. However, to manufacture enough bio-fuel to sell and have an impact on the environment there is need for a specialized process.
Used cooking oil is one of the most popular ingredients for the manufacturing of bio-fuels. It is then taken through a specialized process that results in the production of environmentally friendly bio-fuels.
This specialized process takes place in the following stages:
The very first thing that a bio-fuel manufacturer does in the manufacturing process is collecting their raw materials. Since most of the raw materials are either food waste or used cooking oil, it is important that companies establish channels of collection.
Collection is done by contracting commercial entities and households that generate large amounts of used cooking oil and food waste. Companies provide storage containers for the waste, which is then collected as regularly as possible.
Without consistent sources of raw materials, it is going to be difficult to produce bio-fuel.
Once it gets into the factory, the first process the used cooking oil goes through is filtering. In this stage, the used cooking oil is filtered off the food, dirt and other foreign particles that it may contain.
This process involves warming the waste cooking oil to liquefy that which is already cold and sold. It is then passed through a filter and it comes flows out much cleaner and ready for the nest stage.
Separating it from the water
Once the food particles are removed, the oil is then boiled at temperatures above water boiling point to ensure that it does not contain any water in it.
This is important as water slows down the processing of used cooking into bio-fuels.
Once the raw material is free of water and dirt, they are then test to identify their levels of purity to determine the amounts of conversion chemicals to be added into them.
Heating and mixing
The tested products are then heated and mixed with sodium methoxide as the catalyst that enables the production of methanol. This process now produces the bio-fuel methanol.
In this stage, the heated product from the previous process is left to rest and settle. This is an important stage as it allows the final product to be clearly seen.
Once settled, the bio-fuel will easily separate from the rest of the product and float at the top of the mixture. By draining out the products at the bottom, you have successfully manufactured bio-fuel.