Term of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Engineering (M.S.A.E.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Committee Chair

Anoop Desai

Committee Member 1

Valentin A. Soloiu

Committee Member 2

John O' Malley

Abstract

There has been increased emphasis on alternate energy sources in recent years. This interest stems from diminishing supplies of fossil fuels combined with an ever-increasing global demand for energy. Biodiesel constitutes one such source of alternate energy. It is a renewable diesel fuel substitute that can be manufactured from a variety of naturally occurring oils and fats. Several methods of production have been tried and successfully implemented to develop biodiesel as a viable energy source. However, this research has been confined primarily within the auspices of a research laboratory. The mass appeal of biodiesel and its viability as a dominant energy source can be established by developing a comprehensive methodology to achieve large-scale transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace. Such a methodology needs to take into account the technological characteristics of the fuel production process, environmental effects of biodiesel emissions, and economic factors integral to the biodiesel supply chain. It is essential to analyze the aforementioned characteristics in order to successfully achieve the cost effective integration of this alternate fuel source into the marketplace. Towards this end, a thorough literature review of the state of the art in biodiesel production techniques and availability characteristics of peanuts as a source has been presented in retrospect to secure the integrity of the research involved. This research as well as related outcomes as a result of widespread integration of biodiesel into a mainstream market has been presented. Similarly, the strategies and effects of the introduction of large-scale usage of bio-fuels have also been targeted.

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