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FUELLING WITH CORN WHEN UKRAINIAN BIOFUEL REPLACES THE RUSSIAN PETROLEUM (INFOGRPHICS)
Ukraine manufactures a lot of agricultural organics – raw materials which could be also used to solve energy issues.
World’s experience: fuel not from the well
The biggest Shanghai bus company Shanghai Jiushi launched on its routes the buses running on biodiesel fuel of processed edible oil – as of the 7th of May more than 2000 of such buses went on route. The fuel used for fueling them is 5% made of biodiesel obtained by processing of oil waste from catering points. Up to 30 ths. of edible oil is produced in Shanghai per year that can be used to manufacture around 600 ths. t. of biodiesel. According to forecasts the volume of annual biodiesel consumption will make around 22 ths. t.
While famous London double-deckers use biofuel consisting of conventional DF (80%), mixed with oil, manufactured of coffee-grounds (20%). For this purpose Bio-bean collects the used coffee-grounds from cafes and restaurants and processes at its own plant. The obtained fuel of B20 make can be securely poured into the tanks of buses with diesel engines.
Bio-bean calculated that the UK annually produces around 500 ths. t of coffee-grounds, most of which will be dumped where it generates harmful greenhouse gases. That means that production of ‘coffee’ biofuel’ allows at the same time reduce the number of exhausts and toxicity of city dumps
There are plenty of similar examples in the entire world. The mankind frightened by jumpy oil prices and worsening of environmental situation quickly learns how to produce the motor oil of various agricultural organics. If in 2000 only 9,2 M t of biofuel were produced then in 2018 – already 91.3 M t. The world’s leaders of biofuel production – USA, Indonesia, Brazil. They have been caught up with by Germany, France, Argentine, China.
Biodiesel and bioethanol: do not mix!
Motor biological oil can be of two types – biodiesel and bioethanol. Biodiesel fuel is obtained from oil crops, animal fats, oil wastes of food industry. Whereas biodiesel can be obtained almost from any vegetable or animal oil, its production is assessed as more virtually of food.
Biodiesel is used also both as additive to ordinary diesel fuel and as pure biofuel. The rapeseed is used most often as raw material for biodiesel production. Biodiesel is produced with use of vegetable oil chemical reaction and ethyl or methyl spirit in the etherification process. Methanol is more widespread as it is comparatively cheaper than ethanol.
Contrary to "oil" diesel fuel, biodiesel when getting into the nature does not cause harm neither to plants nor to animals. It is completely biodegradable: 99% of biodiesel are processed in soil or in water.
Biodiesel is used as mixture with diesel fuel. The popular mix of biodiesel is 20% share in diesel fuel (В20), though mixtures with lower share are used as well - 1, 2, 5%. The pure biodiesel (В100) is also of high demand in many countries, especially in Germany However, at low temperatures, it requires the use of special antifreeze, since the fuel is exfoliated. Another drawback is the hygroscopicity of the fuel, that is, its property to absorb moisture from the atmosphere, which causes corrosion of the fuel system elements. Biodiesel is aggressive towards rubber parts, so engines have to be modified.
Well, bioethanol (by in fact, simply technical ethyl alcohol) is obtained from sugar-containing, starch-containing and grain crops and is also used as a mixture with ordinary gasoline. Here the production process is a well-known fermentation followed by distillation. We can say that there are no fundamental differences between the installation for the production of bioethanol and moonshine.
Ukrainian experience: we can produce, but we do not want
According to estimates of Research Institute of Alternative Fuels, Ukraine is ready to produce at least 0.5 million tons of biodiesel and bioethanol per year. For the production of such a volume of pure biodiesel will require 1.5 million tons of rapeseed, which can be obtained from 1 million hectares of arable land. Add here the possibility of obtaining biodiesel from waste meat and poultry farms, as well as waste refining of vegetable oils, waste fat.
Own technology for producing environmentally friendly biofuels have been developed at Vinnytsia Agrarian University. Similar to diesel fuel produced from a mixture of sunflower oil, soybean and rapeseed. The university claims: it is possible to refuel with such fuel not only tractors, but also cars. "The cost of production is 10-15 UAH. If an enterprise has its own raw materials and capacities for the production of biodiesel, this is the best option," said Irina Gunko, head of the department of alternative fuel resources.
Nevertheless, for the production of biofuels in Ukraine enough conditions - economic, technical, legislative have not been created. Although you cannot say that nothing is being done. At the end of 2017, the draft law No. 7348 was introduced to the Verkhovna Rada on stimulating the production of liquid biofuels. Traders wanted to oblige to sell gasoline and diesel fuel with a mandatory established level of impurity biofuels. Initially it was assumed that from January 1, 2019 in the gasoline sold, the content of dietary supplements (in percent of the total energy value) must be at least 3.4%; and a year later - 4.8%. For diesel fuel, the threshold was slightly lower - 2.7%, since the country does not yet have the necessary biodiesel production capacity. According to the calculations of the authors of the project, the innovation would lead to the increase of the annual consumption of liquid biofuels by 2020 to 390 thousand tons (including gasoline additives up to 320 thousand tons, diesel fuel - up to 70 thousand tons).
The current consumption of biofuels by domestic transport is six times less. At the same time, Ukraine practically does not produce it, only a certain amount of bioethanol at the factories of the state enterprise Ukrspirt - Zarubinsky and Gaysinsky. Today, even the little biodiesel that is consumed in Ukraine is imported from EU countries. The paradox is that this biofuel is made from agricultural products exported by Ukrainian enterprises. Ukraine in this area remains as a supplier of raw materials and a buyer of the final product, but not its manufacturer. In particular, our country annually exports to the EU countries up to 4 million tons of rapeseed, from which about 1.4 million tons of biofuel are produced there. The export of rapeseed instead of producing biodiesel fuel reduces the profit of Ukrainian companies by 200% (estimate by the Research Institute of Alternative Fuels LLC).
As noted in the association "Ukrbiotoplivo", the demand for significant amounts of bioethanol would allow to load idle capacity of enterprises of the state enterprise "Ukrspirt" (estimated at 123 thousand tons per year). The sugar factories could be restructured for the production of bioethanol.
Ukraine has completely switched to the Euro-5 fuel standard, which provides for a 5% biofuel additive. However, in reality, traders use the fact that the standard provides for from 0 to 5%, and practically fuel is sold without bio-additives.
The main obstacle to the production of biofuels in Ukraine is the excise tax on it at a level that is actually equal to traditional fuel. According to the Tax Code, the excise tax on biodiesel is 106 euros per 1 thousand liters, but this is subject to the content of less than 70% of petroleum products. More close to European standards, fuel with a content of bio-additives up to 5% has an excise tax similar to the traditional one - 213 euros per 1 thousand liters.
The introduction of excise duty on fuel in 2013 provoked a collapse in the domestic production of biofuels. According to the association "Ukrbiotoplivo", up to this point there had been more than 14 manufacturers in Ukraine, most of which are now closed.
Dissenting opinion of the agroproducer
In Ukraine, large agricultural producers do not yet consider the production of biofuels as a profitable business."Our agricultural holding is engaged in growing crops and is positioning itself as providing exactly the food security of Ukraine and the world. Current global trends condemn the processing of potential food products, especially raw materials, for energy products (in in any form), even despite the fact that there is a global trend towards transition to energy from renewable sources, - Marianna Konina, head of communications at the Ukrlandfarming Group of Companies, explained to DS. - Without going into the technological and marketing details of production and sales, all economic and environmental feasibility, in general, the production of biofuels and bio-additives for motor fuels will be solely correct and ethical only from waste materials of raw materials and their processing, food waste or deep processing of plant cellulose expensive recycling option). "
Marianna Konina noted that the Dubensky sugar factory, part of the Ukrlendfarming Group of Companies, has a plant for the production of bioethanol from pulp and molasses (by-products of beet processing and sugar production). But due to low world prices for sugar, the plant is idle, and bioethanol, respectively, is not produced. There are also developments in the construction of small bio-ethanol plants based on the largest elevators owned by Ukrlendfarming. These projects are to be implemented in the near future.
It is important to understand that biofuels have a serious drawback: most of the plants from which it can be obtained, greatly deplete the soil. Of the plants suitable for the manufacture of biofuels, Ukraine has the largest cultivated area for wheat and sunflower. Rape, soybean, corn and sugar beet are also grown. Almost all of these plants (except soybeans and wheat) are dangerous to the soil.
On the other hand, the presence of biofuels in the energy balance of each country is an increasingly important issue in the context of energy and environmental safety. Agriculture is becoming a source of raw materials not only for the food industry, but also for the energy industry. Given the large agricultural potential, our country could partially provide itself with its own bioenergy resources, which would help reduce dependence on energy imports and improve the environment. In particular, Ukraine can stimulate domestic production by establishing the production of biofuel additives to gasoline and diesel fuel. There are all conditions for this.