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Second Generation Biodiesel Technology


Bio-cetane enhancer for diesel fuel

Arbokem's bio-cetane enhancer for diesel fuel is derived from co-products of the wood pulp industry. Bio-cetane diesel fuel provides substantially lower emissions of conventional pollutants and greenhouse gases.

Diesel-electric is probably the most efficient and the greenest type of fuel for running vehicles, whereas:

Natural gas is fossil fuel; it is not a renewable resource.

Hydrogen-based fuel cells, at present, are not practical. They require a significant demand on hydroelectricity or fossil-fuel for the manufacture of hydrogen.

Ethanol, made from agricultural food crops, is marginally positive in overall energy efficiency. In other words, the energy required to produce ethanol, over the total life cycle, is slightly less than the net energy recoverd from the use of ethanol fuel.

Conventional bio-diesel is made by the esterification of soya or canola oil with methanol. Food oil is an expensive feedstock - permanent government subidies would probably be required to make the product viable.

Methanol is usually made from natural gas.

A green approach for the production of bio-cetane enhancer for diesel fuels

Al Wong, Arbokem Inc., Vancouver, Canada
Ed Hogan, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

ABSTRACT. Biomass-oil based transportation fuel provides a practical means to reduce emission of conventional pollutants and to lower the emission of CO2. The bio-fuel could be made by the trans-esterification of vegetable oils/fats or by the catalytic hydrotreating of vegetable or tree oils and fats. Catalytic hydrotreatment has been tested on a pilot scale to convert many types of biomass oil into a 60-90 Cetane Number middle distillate.

This bio-cetane product can be used neat as a diesel fuel or as a blending agent for ordinary diesel fuel. Laboratory emission testing of a transit bus has indicated that significantly lower emissions of particulates, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons can be achieved. A 10-month on-road testing of six postal delivery vans has shown that the engine fuel economy was improved significantly with a blend of petrodiesel and the bio-cetane product. (AK17709W)

Proc. 4th Biomass Conference of the Americas, Oakland, California, USA, September, 1999.

Bio-based cetane enhancer for diesel fuels

Al Wong, Arbokem Inc., Vancouver, Canada
Ed Hogan, CANMET-Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Canada

ABSTRACT. There is a growing concern about the ambient air quality of urban centres. Usage of higher quality clean- burning diesel fuel is an effective means to reduce harmful emissions from cars, trucks and buses. Cetane-enhanced diesel fuel is generally recognized to provide lower emissions of pollutants and improved fuel economy. Furthermore, the usage of transport fuel which is derived from the processing of biomass oils would greatly reduce the unwanted emission of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, to the global atmosphere.

Natural Resources Canada has developed a novel technology for the conversion of biomass oil such as vegetable oils, used cooking oils, animal fats and tree oils into cetane enhancer for diesel fuels. Depending on the feedstock and operating conditions used, neat bio-cetane product with a Cetane Number ranging from 55 to 90 can be made readily. The patented technology has been operated successfully at the Natural Resources Canada's CANMET pilot plant facility to produce test cetane enhancer for blending with conventional low-sulphur diesel fuel. The blended cetane-enhanced diesel fuel was tested for emissions of conventional pollutants, using urban transit buses and light-duty vans. Preliminary engine dynamometer test data showed reductions (from base fuel) of up to 20% particulate matter, 10% NOx and 10% hydrocarbons. Separately, a 10-month testing on a fleet of Canada Post delivery vans operating in Vancouver has shown that a fuel economy of about 8% was achieved. The calculated life cycle emissions of CO2 for the test blend of 40% bio-cetane enhancer and 60% conventional low-sulphur diesel fuel would provide about 155 grams CO2 equivalent per kilometres. This "bio-cetane diesel" blend has the lowest value of any conventional petroleum-based motor fuels, including compressed natural gas. (AK16825W)

Proc. Bioenergy '98 Conference, Madison, Wisoconsin, USA, October, 1998


Pine Diesel Production of high quality cetane enhancer from depitched tall oil

D.D.S. Liu, J. Monnier, G. Tourigny, J. Kriz,
E. Hogan, Natural Resources Canada,
Ottawa, Canada
Al Wong, Arbokem Inc., Vancouver, Canada  


ABSTRACT. Tall oil (anglicized term for pine oil) is a co-product in the Kraft pulping of resinous softwood trees such as spruce and pine. A technology to convert tall oil into high quality diesel additive has been developed and licensed to Arbokem of Vancouver to market the process worldwide. Laboratory and pilot-scale studies were carried out to characterize the product properties and to determine the fundamental and engineering parameters for process scale-up. The tall oil was supplied by BC Chemicals of Prince George, B.C. Pilot plant runs were also carried out to generate volumes of the diesel cut for blending with a base diesel provided by Petro-Canada Products. The blend (PineDiesel) was used for road tests by Canada Post Corporation and for emission tests by Environment Canada. This paper describes the tall oil conversion at pilot-plant scale. A lumped parameter kinetics model used to guide the process is also presented.

Petroleum Science and Technology, 54: 12-16 (1997)


Conversion of vegetable oils and animal fats into paraffinic cetane enhancer for diesel fuels

A. Wong and Y. Feng, Arbokem Inc., Vancouver, Canada
E. Hogan, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Canada

ABSTRACT. The two principal methods of producing biodiesel fuels are a) transesterification of vegetable oils and animal fats with a monohydric alcohol, and b) direct hydrotreating of tree oils, vegetable oils and animal fats. The patented hydrotreating technology is based on the catalytic processing of biomass oils and fats with hydrogen, under elevated temperature and pressure conditions. The typical mix of hydrotreated products is as follows: 5-15% light distillate (naptha), 40-60% middle distillate (cetane) 5-15% heavy distillate and 5-10% burner gas. The naptha fraction may be used as a gasoline supplement. The middle distillate is designed for use as a cetane booster for diesel fuels. Both heavy distillate and light hydrocarbon gases are usable as power boiler fuels. Typically, the cetane enhancer would be admixed with diesel fuel in the range of 5 to 30% by volume. This new diesel blend meets the essential quality characteristics of the basic diesel fuel, for direct use in diesel engines without any modifications. The basic hydrotreatment technology has been further evaluated in the laboratory on degummed soya oil, yellow grease and animal tallow. The preliminary findings suggest that the technology can provide efficient conversion of these materials into cetane enhancers for diesel fuels. (AK13160)

Proc. 2nd Biomass Conference of the Americas, Portland, Oregon, USA, August, 1995.
pp. 902-910.


Hydroprocessed vegetable oils for diesel fuel improvement

M. Stumborg, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada
A. Wong, Arbokem Inc., Vancouver, Canada
E. Hogan, Natural Resources, Ottawa, Canada

ABSTRACT. The Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC), in cooperation with Natural Resources Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, investigated the use of conventional refinery technology to convert vegetable oils into a product resembling diesel fuel. SRC found that the use of a medium severity refinery hydroprocess yielded a product (‘super cetane’) in the diesel boiling range with a high cetane value (55-90). Preliminary testing at ORTECH has shown that the impact of the ‘super cetane’/diesel mixture (‘green diesel’) on engine emission is similar to that of cetane enhancement via a nitrate additive when added to conventional diesel fuel. Advantages of hydroprocessing over esterification in the Canadian context include lower processing cost, compatibility with infrastructure, engines and fuel standards, and feed stock flexibility. Further research in the areas of process optimization, alternative feed stock selection, cold flow properties, and multi-cylinder emission testing is planned. In cooperation with a commercialization partner, Arbokem Inc., pilot testing of the hydroprocess was done and was proven successful. A fleet demonstration and evaluation is currently underway.

Proc. 2nd Alternative Energy Conference: Liquid Fuels, Additives and Lubricants from Biomass, American Society of Agricultural Engineers, Kansas City, USA,
June 1994; Bioresource Technology, 56:13-18 (1996)

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