Logistics Costs Consideration in the Economic Assessment of Waste Frying Oil Based Biodiesel
Abstract– Aside from reducing the environmental problem of food service businesses uncontrolled disposal of waste oil, Waste Frying Oils (WFOs) based biodiesel also cuts the economy’s dependence on limited resources and petroleum-based diesel imports. In this study, a method for evaluating the costs of biodiesel production from WFOs was proposed with the aim of developing an Economic evaluation of this alternative. A logistics aspect is seldom explored in the calculation of such feasibilities.
This study addresses this cost by determining optimal vehicle routing systems to incorporate in the total biodiesel cost. The capital of Lebanon, Beirut, was selected as the survey zone as it holds a great number of restaurants and hotels.
The only biodiesel production plant in Lebanon was surveyed to determine the production, chemicals, labor and tax costs in addition to glycerin and fatty acids’ esters (FAEs) credits. Ultimately, a comparison between eightyone scenarios of the biodiesel costs and the information on the commercialization of diesel in Lebanon was realized. The results confirm the Economic feasibility of WFOs’ biodiesel production in the studied area, and can help sustain a healthy development of the biodiesel industry in Lebanon.
Renewable energies are considered significant resources in many countries around the world. Multiple studies have shown that reduced carbon emission could be achieved through an increased use of intermittent renewable energy sources [1-2]. Biomass is the most frequent form of renewable energy [3-4] and can be converted to other utilizable forms of energy like biofuels. Among biofuels, biodiesel is one of the potential alternatives to petroleum [5-6].
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) defines biodiesel as monoalkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from a renewable lipid feedstock, such as vegetable oil or animal fat .
Biodiesel has similar characteristics to fossil diesel fuel with the different advantages of being non-toxic, readily biodegradable, and cleaner burning than petroleum diesel [8- 9]. It significantly diminishes the emission of harmful air pollutants including carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide .
However, the high cost of biodiesel is the major obstruction for its commercialization. Biodiesel produced from vegetable oil or animal fat is usually more expensive than petroleumbased diesel fuel by 10 to 50% . Compared to raw vegetable oils, waste frying oils (WFOs) are considered as cheaper biodiesel feedstock that can efficiently reduce raw material charge .
Even though the trade price of waste oils has been raised recently in developing countries, WFOs are still lower cost feedstocks making biodiesel production more competitive to the production of petroleum-based diesel fuel .
Besides its Economic appeal for decreasing reliance on imports of petroleum-based diesel and limited fuel resources, the use of WFOs in biodiesel production also contributes to reducing the amounts of WFOs being dumped into landfills and sewers .
Biodiesel has gained attention as an alternative fuel due to its renewable nature, lower emissions, and potential economic benefits. Waste frying oil (WFO) is a promising feedstock for biodiesel production, as it is a low-cost and widely available source of used cooking oil.
However, the economic viability of WFO-based biodiesel production depends on various factors, including the logistics costs associated with the collection, transportation, and processing of WFO. This article explores the importance of considering logistics costs in the economic assessment of WFO-based biodiesel production.
Logistics costs are a crucial factor in the economic assessment of WFO-based biodiesel production. These costs include the collection, transportation, and processing of WFO into biodiesel. The collection and transportation costs depend on the distance between the WFO sources and the processing plant, the volume of WFO collected, and the mode of transportation used. The processing costs include the cost of converting WFO into biodiesel.
Logistics costs can significantly impact the overall cost of biodiesel production. For example, if the collection and transportation costs are high, the cost of producing biodiesel will also increase, reducing the profitability of the production process. Therefore, it is essential to optimize logistics costs to ensure the economic viability of WFO-based biodiesel production.
Logistics Optimization Strategies:
There are several strategies for optimizing logistics costs in WFO-based biodiesel production. One such strategy is to locate the processing plant near the WFO sources to reduce the transportation distance and cost. Another strategy is to use efficient transportation modes, such as rail or water transport, to reduce transportation costs.
Moreover, the use of innovative technologies, such as mobile biodiesel production units, can also reduce logistics costs by enabling biodiesel production at or near the WFO sources. Additionally, co-processing of WFO with other feedstocks, such as vegetable oils, can also reduce logistics costs by reducing the transportation volume of WFO.
In conclusion, logistics costs are a crucial factor in the economic assessment of WFO-based biodiesel production. Optimization of logistics costs through strategies such as locating processing plants near WFO sources, using efficient transportation modes, and using innovative technologies can significantly impact the economic viability of WFO-based biodiesel production.
Therefore, it is essential to consider logistics costs in the economic assessment of WFO-based biodiesel production to ensure the profitability and sustainability of the production process.
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Author: Mohammed A Bazzoun
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