Sample Research Proposal Paper on Bio-Fuel

Bio means coming from the natural environment. Thus, bio fuel is derived from biological processes that includes anaerobic and agriculture digestion. In addition, waste from industrial, commercial and agricultural sectors in the economy can make fuel for various uses. Therefore, it helps in reducing environmental pollution in the country through proper use of waste products. Some of the processes through which energy is derived includes Biomass and carbon fixation. For biomass, three methods are available for plants that convert living organism into energy. The process is determined at converting chemical energy to its fine and usable biochemical form.  The production of bioethanol which is an alcohol requires fermentation so as to make fuel. All starch and sugar crops can be fermented to produce this kind of energy. Ethanol in its pure form can be applied as petrol for vehicles. Biodiesel is another product of sugar crops. This form of diesel is achieved through fermentation. There are many advantages of producing bio-fuel to the economy as well as environment. The economy benefits reduced cost of fuel production and accessibility of the same. The environment is on the safer side with increased bio-fuel production due to utilization of waste in the country. Therefore, this report discusses the important of mass production of bio-fuel to the economy.

Background Information

            The exploitation of oilfields in various parts of the world has kept the production of biofuels at low volume due to affiliated costs. For the first time in history, Henry Ford was determined to fuel some of the models with ethanol. However, due to the cheap and available fossil fuel; the company abandoned its move because it proved to be an expensive endeavor. If they had taken that path or invest in biofuel, then, their competitors would have taken advantage of the low cost fuel to intensify rivalry. This would have seen the business lose its market share while sales volume comes down. Diesel and gasoline’s are the basic form of biofuel. The reason as to why they are considered to be biofuel is that they come from decomposing animals and plants. The process may take decades to have fuels formed underground. Today, companies have developed plants that allows the process occur within a short period.  Gasoline sold in America is mixed with biofuel (Campelo, et al. 45). For a long time, Brazil has been using ethanol as car fuel. Sugarcane is widely utilized in making ethanol. Palm oil is also a great source of biofuel. The end results of combustion of biofuels are carbon gases. It is needed by plants for photosynthesis. This means that the use of biofuel has a lot of benefits to the environment. This is contrary to what is experienced through the use of fossil fuel. Carbon produced by burning these fuels pollutes the environment and leads to the depletion or destruction of ozone layer. The world population is complaining about the excessive use of fossil fuel and increased level of pollution(Panwar, et al. 1803).

Design Considerations

            Biofuels are not free from pollution. Some of the carbon elements produced during burning such as carbon monoxide is very dangerous to human health. However, comparing the effects of pollution by fossil fuel and biofuel, we find that biofuel is less dangerous than the former. This is because the level and percentage of carbon gases produced is less than the one released by utilization of fossil fuels.World health organization found out that 3.7 million people died of air pollution related complications in the year 2012.However, increased production in biofuel reduces the level of pollution that the country/world experiences. This is because the raw materials for these processes come from the economy such as waste materials from factories and business premises. Plants that deal with production make sure that waste products are collected and used in the making of fuel(Panwar, et al. 246). The environment is left clean and dumpsites are converted into farming land hence improving food sustainability. An example includes overfishing in Ghana that is posing food crisis to the population. When the byproducts of fishing activities are turned into fuel, then, the country benefits from reduced oil imports. For those countries that depend on imported energy, biofuel production would help them save some money. Animal waste as well as plants will be applied for the production of energy. This means that they will demand less from the oil producing countries hence end up spending less on imports (Li, et al. 372).

The social impact of biofuel manufacture is that the industry creates job opportunities for citizens. This improves the lives of people because many families will be able to meet their daily needs. From the collection of waste products to the production of energy, human capital is required to see these processes go through. Thus, plants or companies in this section of the industry tend to employ more people in caring out these duties. Thus, the society benefits a lot from the initiative. The second impact is on health matters of a community. The community is deemed also to benefits from CSR and initiatives from these plants to help the society. This may include health facilities that cater for the wellbeing of individuals in the community. Reducing in carbon production will also see the number of patients in hospitals goes down.  Families are hit by diseases culminating from excess carbon intake through breathing. Some members may die due to the poisonous nature of these gases while others may be forced to seek medical help from hospitals. The cost of medication will therefore go beyond what the patient can manage/afford. The situation may worsen and families may get deeper into poverty leading to less economic activities in the state.

Lastly, safety hazard during and after production require that the management apply the necessary measures in counteracting the negative effect of byproducts. Some of the measures to be applied include wearing special clothing’s, nose masks, and gloves during the collection of waste products. The decomposition of these wastes should also be under a controlled environment to reduce the leakage of gases into the air. Some of these gases may pose health risk to communities and workers. The government should monitor the activities of the productions plants to ensure that they comply with the regulations. This will be the first steps towards safety in organization and biofuel production sector. The production of fuel in large quantity requires massive investments in protective measures.

Design Alternatives

There are two alternatives in production of biofuel. They include biochemical and thermo chemical routes. For biochemical route, crops and trees that contain oil are milled, pressed or grind to remove the ingredient which is then mixed with enzymes to provide a sugar solution. This solution is then fermented and distilled to produce ethanol that goes through dehydration process to remove water. The end result is bioethanol that is good for use. The byproduct which is water is recycled.  However, it must be treated to reduce chemical levels in it so as it can be used for farming and other activities. The chemical reaction that takes place is as follows:

Sugar is fermented to CO2 and ethanol

C6H12O6 → 2 C2H5OH+ 2 CO2 + heat

Then, combustion takes place to give:

C2H5OH + 3 O2 → 2 CO2 + 3 H2O + heat

Hydration is the last stage which results to biofuel

C2H4 + H2O → C2H5OH

Figure 1 represents production of Biofuel through biochemical route.

From the above figure, addition of enzymes to speed up the reaction in obtaining sugar solution is carried out after squeezing or obtaining input resources. Then, fermentation of the solution takes place. The end product is alcohol, water and heat. Water must be separated from the mixture through distillation. This helps obtain ethanol which is further dehydrated to get biofuel. This fuel is ready for the market and some countries have built or manufactured vehicles that run-on biofuel. It is then distributed to sales point by trucks or pipeline just like petroleum does (Duan, et al. 60).        Dehydration is the next process that is determined or geared at removing water from the ethanol. This prepares the bio ethanol for use by motorists hence increases its value.

The second strategy is thermos-chemical routes. First, waste products or garbage is collected and reduced into small sizes. This is an important step because it aids in decomposition process. Then, enzymes are added to help speed and hasten the process so as to get the gas on time.Due to the demand level for fuel, the process is deemed to take the shortest time possible so as to improve business activities. Normally, natural decomposition activities take place within a long period of time.

C 6 H12 O 6 + H 2 Æ C 6 H14 + 3O 2

Then, oxygen is removed and ethanol fermented.

C 6 H12 O 6 Æ2C 2 H 5OH + 2CO 2 (biocatalytic upgrading)

C 6 H12 O 6 + 3H 2 O Æ6H 2 + 3CO + 3CO 2 (2n+1)H 2 +nCO Æ C n H2n+2 + nH 2 O

This is shown below

Figure 2 shows production of biofuel through thermos-chemical routes

From the figure, above, farm products are reduced into small pieces so that chemical reaction can takes place. Oxygen is then pumped into the solution a process known as gasification. Carbon dioxide is then removed and other particles from the mixture. Catalysts are added into the solution and conditioning takes place before getting biofuel. This process involves massive use of carbon as well as release of greenhouse gases. These features make it less effective than the first method(Dhakad, et al. 56). Product conditioning involves addition of hydrogen so as to make the fuel ready for the market. At this point, the fuel is ready and pollution free.

Economic Analysis

            The world is grappling with increased global heating. Thus, human activities should all be geared at safeguarding the ozone layer for a better future. Contrary, if man does not take the necessary measures on time, then, he is going to regret in the coming days from unpredictable weather conditions. Looking at the above-mentioned models of biofuel production

The first design (biochemical) is costlier as compared to the second strategy. The reason behind this is that the input materials are more than the output. This means that the company has to extract oil from trees and may be plant some of these trees believed to produce oil. This means that extra money will be invested in planting or farming. Palm oil is one of the plants that are found in this category. The harvesting and transportation of these plants may also involve some cash. The volume of oil plants required to make one gallon may not commensurate the cost incurred. Then, the extraction and distillation of oil to make fuel is a costly endeavor due to chemicals used. In regards to environment aspect, biochemical method is considered to be a green source of energy. The environment is protected by utilizing this model of fuel production by a great deal. In regards to social impact, this process meets the threshold because jobs are created for the population. In addition, contracted farmers are able to make business deal with the processing company. The money attained from business undertakings is used for food and other needs (Yadav 34).

The following are the costs associated for one gallon of oil

Raw materials $ 100

Energy             $70

Depreciation    $30

Fixed Charges $50

Processing $80

Overhead $150

Special Labor Requirements $90

Real Estate $ 200

Patent Rights $1000

Environmental Controls $300

Total cost $ 2030

Thermo chemical process calls for the collection of garbage from the streets and business premises. This waste is then subjected to extreme heating so as to obtain the oil. Decomposition takes place in a controlled place hence reduces emission of dangerous gases. Considering pollution, social and input-output aspects, the project is well placed and should be implemented.

Raw materials $ 70

Energy             $50

Depreciation    $10

Fixed Charges $50

Processing $100

Overhead $150

Special Labor Requirements $60

Real Estate $ 200

Patent Rights $1000

Environmental Controls $100

Total cost $ 1790


Conclusions and Recommendations           

            Biofuel is one of the ancient forms of energy production. With time, the process has changed in terms of chemical reactions and efficiency. The extraction and application of fossil fuels leads to air pollution. This has raised the level of heat in the world to an extreme end. Many countries are moving towards green energy production as a way of mitigating the environmental risk. Countries such as the United States have faced the challenges of extreme pollution. Ocean water are rising causing a lot of destructions to infrastructure. In addition, weather changes have affected agricultural activities in the country. This has prompted countries to move to green energy such as solar and biofuels. At the moment, investments in green energy have gone a notch higher with many companies entering the challenge. The economic benefits culminating from the use of biofuels are numerous and need to implement the project in large scale.

My recommendations denote that governments should support massive production of bio fuel in the sense that it enables fight or move away from air pollution. Huge amount of garbage or waste is consumed through the process hence makes the environment clean. Failure to do so, leads to water pollution because uncollected garbage goes to water bodies. Fish and sea animals are more likely to suffer from the consumption or intake of these products which are non-digestible hence chokes them. Water will be unhealthy for the population and in case the people consume it, then, they will suffer from water related diseases. The best alternative to be implemented is thermos-chemical route as it has less pollution elements. In addition, it aids in cleaning up the environment an action that reinforces conservation activities in the world. Economically, taking advantage or making use of garbage is less costly than farming oil plants. There is no initial cost in waste collection because it is found in every place in the world. Thus, the only cost the company or an entity will incur is to convert the waste into energy through several processes.



Works Cited

Campelo, Juan, et al. Handbook of Biofuels Production: Processes and Technologies. Woodhead Publishing, 2011.

Dhakad, Tanwar M, et al. Micro Algae Useful for Bio-Fuel Production and Waste Water Treatment. LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2015.

Duan, Peigao, et al. “Catalytic hydrothermal upgrading of crude bio-oils produced from different thermo-chemical conversion routes of microalgae.” Bioresource Technology, vol. 186, no. 3, 4 Apr. 2015, pp. 58-66.

Li, Peng, et al. “Simultaneous production of bio-solid fuel and bio-crude from vegetal biomass using liquefied dimethyl ether.” Fuel, vol. 116, no. 2, 4 May 2014, pp. 370-376.

Panwar, N.L., et al. “Thermo chemical conversion of biomass – Eco friendly energy routes.”Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 16, no. 4, 3 Oct. 2012, pp. 1801-1816.

Panwar, N. L., et al. “ChemInform Abstract: Thermo Chemical Conversion of Biomass – Eco Friendly Energy Routes.” ChemInform, vol. 43, no. 52, 3 Feb. 2012, pp. 245-250.

Yadav, Amit. Sustainable Energy Production from Jatropha Bio-Diesel: Second Generation Bio Fuel. LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2012.