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Satish Lele

Bio Kerosine / Bio Aviation Turbine Fuel

It is of paramount importance that Airline industry must continue to progressively improve its environmental performance and lessen impacts to the global ecosystem, while continuing to reduce operating costs. Aviation recognizes that these challenges must be addressed to ensure industry viability and is actively seeking to provide technologically driven solutions. Bio-derived jet fuel is a key element in the industry strategy to address these challenges. Many related agencies have invested significant time and resources to further the research, development and commercialization of bio-derived jet fuel.

Virgin Atlantic paved the way with its proof of concept flight powered by biofuel in February 2008. Since that time, a broader range of fuels have become available that more closely replicate the performance characteristics of conventional kerosene jet fuel. Significant progress has been made in verifying the performance of Synthetic Paraffinic Kerosene (SPK) made from sustainable sources of bio-derived oils, that can be used in commercial aircraft at a blend ratio of up to 50 percent with traditional jet fuel (Jet A or Jet A-1). A cross-industry team consisting of Boeing, Honeywell/UOP, Air New Zealand (ANZ), Continental Airlines (CAL), Japan Airlines (JAL), General Electric, CFM, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce participated in a series of tests flights with a bio-derived SPK (Bio-SPK) to collect data to support eventual certification of Bio-SPK jet fuels for use in commercial aviation pending the necessary approvals.
A sustainable alternative fuel can be described as one without negative environmental, economic, and social impacts. In addition to having lower emissions of lifecycle green house gases (GHG), sustainable biofuels should not compete with food or fresh water resources or contribute to deforestation, while providing socioeconomic value to local communities where plant stocks are grown. Oil-based energy crops that can meet these sustainability criteria include, but are not limited to jatropha, Pongamia, castor or camelina. Renewable jet fuel process can achieve a reduction of GHG emissions between 65 and 80 percent relative to petroleum derived jet fuel.
A chemical processing technique was identified to convert these sustainable bio-derived oils (triglycerides and free fatty acids) to Bio-SPKs. First, the oils were cleaned to remove impurities using standard oil cleaning procedures. The oils were then converted to the shorter chain diesel-range paraffins using UOP's Renewable Jet Process, which converts the natural oils by removing oxygen molecules from the oil and converting any olefins to paraffins by reaction with hydrogen. The removal of the oxygen atoms raises the heat of combustion of the fuel and the removal of the olefins increases the thermal and oxidative stability of the fuel. A second reaction then isomerizes and cracks the diesel range paraffins, to paraffins with carbon numbers in the jet range. The end product is a Bio-SPK fuel that contains the same types of molecules that are typically found in conventional petroleum based jet fuel.
Natural oils contain oxygen, and have high molecular weight. 1st reaction removes oxygen, and the product is diesel range waxy paraffins. 2nd reaction "cracks" diesel paraffins to smaller, highly branched molecules. End product is same as molecules already present in aviation fuel and end product is independent of starting oil. Bio ATF is composed of a combination of normal and iso-paraffins with a small percentage of cyclo-paraffins. Bio ATF is composed of a combination of normal and iso-paraffins with a small percentage of cyclo-paraffins. The composition of Bio ATF is iso9 - 16%, iso10 - 23%, iso11 - 18%, iso12 - 16%, iso13 - 12%, iso14 - 7%, iso15 - 4% and n-chains - 13%. The carbon content of Bio ATF ranges from 84.5 to 85%, Hydrogen content 15 to 15.5%, Nitrogen <0.1% and C/H ratio 5.5 to 5.7%.
Plantations in Africa : Most important step in the success of Bio ATF is production of Vegetable Oils in Rural Africa. Most countries in Africa offer 100,000 hectares of land for plantations in areas shown in blue and light blue in map below, where rainfall is enough and land is not cultivated. My aim is to offer expert advice in Setting up Nursery for Jatropha Cultivation in Africa. I can Guide local people in correct practices for plantation work. I can train teams of local people for Jatropha Nursery / Cultivation / Plantation work. I can offer consultancy for plantation from start to cultivation and maintenance even for 2 to 3 years. Since a lot of labour is required for Pruning work in first two years, plantations are viable in those countries in Africa, where daily wages are less than 2 US$ per day.

I am well conversant with the Machinery Required for large scale Cultivation (100,000 hectors and more) like, diggers, excavators, transport vehicles, jeeps etc. and can help mobilize these to site.

    Advantages of Plantations of Jatropha / Pongamia with Castor
  1. Jatropha and Pongamia plantations with Castor and Camelina as inter crops, grow much faster than any other trees or bushes and fix CO2 as its stem and branches, thus reducing CO2 from Atmosphere and offer biomass.

  2. 1 acre of Jatropha / Pongamia plantation absorbs and reduces 500 kgs of CO2 every year, from Atmosphere. This is a good way to reduce Green House Gases in Atmosphere.

  3. Jatropha is a soft tree. It does not break or get uprooted in case of Cyclones and Floods, like other Oil Bearing Seed Trees. It was observed in devastating floods in Myanmar.

  4. Plantation reduces the amount of Dust / Sand that is carried by high winds (especially in Deserts) and reduces chance of respiratory deceases. It also cools the entire area.

  5. It also provides rural employment and fuel for lighting in local areas.

The main goal of my work is to enable communities in rural Africa to develop alternative energy options that will be good for the environment and help promote sustainable livelihoods in the region, without exposing them to such adverse effects of modernization as cultural transformations, and allowing them to retain independence in the face of globalization.
Economic Development in Developed Countries has led to huge increases in the energy demand. The recognition that conventional energy sources are the major cause of climate change, leads to understanding that clean renewable energy technologies are to be widely introduced. In this respect switching from Fossil Fuels and other Green House Gas (GHG) emitting sources to renewable sources of energy makes sense for the climate, the environment and sustainable society. Many European countries are eager to invest in plantations in Africa.
I would like to focus my activities on income improvement through the establishment of the Jatropha / Pongamia with Castor cultivation and local, community-based production of environmentally friendly fuel. I would like to explore how the permanent exploitation of the different aspects of Jatropha curcas might be a real alternative to the common carbon-based fuel for energy production. I would like to contribute to improvement of Jatropha / Pongamia with Castor System which benefit four main aspects of development and secure a sustainable way of life for village farmers and the land that supports them.

  1. Renewable Energy
  2. Erosion Control and Soil Improvement
  3. Promotion of Women employment
  4. Poverty Reduction.
The overall objectives of my work will be to:
  1. Make Jatropha / Pongamia with Castor cultivation a low-risk venture with attractive returns.

  2. Help attract private investors in cultivation of Jatropha / Castor and other non-edible oil seeds.

  3. Promote and recognize endeavors to build technical capacities of rural entrepreneurs.

  4. Help create new work opportunities in Jatropha / Pongamia with Castor cultivation and Bio Gas related sectors.

  5. Highlight environmental and social integration of Jatropha / Pongamia with Castor cultivation systems in rural communities.

  6. Provide gender sensitive socio-economic and environmental analysis of Jatropha / Pongamia with Castor cultivation in rural communities.

Attention to gender will be of my special concern with aims to improve the position of women through energy related income generating projects. I want to pay particular attention to the inclusion of women in Jatropha / Pongamia with Castor System to ensure that the interests of local women are represented. Stakeholder selection will be inclusive.
Barriers to implementation are very important factors to consider because technologies do not exist locally, but within specific cultural contexts, they will have to be effectively implemented. Any economic and development projects in these areas may affect the integrity of the region. In addition to the economic and political differences between regions, some areas have special geographical characteristics. To be fully effective, Jatropha / Pongamia with Castor cultivation and biodiesel production system should involve the identification of natural resource use patterns and potential conflicts among users and affected stakeholders in order to formulate a comprehensive energy strategy that is coordinated among different sectors and levels of government.
The results will be easily measurable. Most of communities are very small, so the differences may be observed by actual count of the beginning and ending conditions and the results quantified. There will be a subjective component from the residents about any "quality of life" improvements, along with some assessment of where incomes have been improved in sustainable ways.
In summary, what motivates me most is the quest for sustainable energy development approaches that are tailored to the needs of the communities and to the geographical specificities of a region.

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