Most commonly used vegetable oils for biodiesel production are rapeseed (Europe), soybean (America), sunflower, palm oil (Asia) and even waste cooking oil. The need for raw materials that do not compete with food crops, has directed research toward alternative oil sources, like Jatropha curcas, an energy crop, and algae. Both of them constitute promising alternatives for a sustainable biodiesel supply chain.
We propose an MILP multiperiod formulation for the biodiesel supply chain optimal planning in Argentina, considering soybean, sunflower, Jatropha curcas and algae as raw materials. The country has been divided into fourteen main regions that include existing crops and projections for the next seven years (www.bolcereales.com.ar, van Dam et al., 2009), existing and potential Jatropha curcas plantations (Carballo el at. 2008) and potential algae production. Information on existing oil and biodiesel plants has been taken from official sites. Potential biodiesel plants have been associated to binary variables. Furthermore, different production schemes have been analyzed for biodiesel production, including the use of basic or acid catalysts (Freedman et al., 1984,Varma and Madras, 2007) and enzymes. The noncatalytic production at the alcohol supercritical conditions has also been included as an alternative (Espinosa et al., 2007; 2009). Inventory and transportation costs have been included and these last ones greatly contribute to the economical objective function. Numerical results provide insights on the use of nonconventional raw materials and technologies.
References Carballo, S., N. Flores, J. Hilbert, 2009. Evaluación de las vulnerabilidades y potencial de expansión del cultivo de Piñón manso (Jatropha curcas L.) en Argentina, Bioenergía, 99-106. Freedman, B., Pryde E.H., Mounts T.L., 1984. Variables affecting the yields of fatty esters from transesterified vegetable oils. JAOCS 61, 1638-1643. Espinosa, S., M.S. Diaz, E. Brignole, Process synthesis and optimization of a supercritical methanol biodiesel production plant, ECCE-6, 6th European Congress of Chemical Engineering (Copenhagen, 16-20 september 2007), 423-424. Diaz, M.S., Espinosa, S., E. Brignole, Model-based cost minimization in noncatalytic biodiesel production plants, Energy & Fuels, 23, 5587–559 Van Dam, J., A.P.C. Faaij, J. Hilbert, H. Petruzzi, W.C. Turkenburg, Large-scale bioenergy production from soybeans and switchgrass in Argentina Part A: Potential and economic feasibility for national and international markets Varma, M.N., Madras, G., 2007. Synthesis of Biodiesel from Castor Oil and Linseed Oil in Supercritical Fluids. Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 46, 1-6.