Biofuel as an Alternative Energy Source for the Automobile Industry: The Experience of the Lower Volga Region (Russia)
N. A. Shyurova 1  
,  
V. V. Dubrovin 1  
,  
V. B. Narushev 1  
,  
A. A. Kozhevnikov 1  
,  
 
 
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Saratov State Agrarian University named after N.I. Vavilova, Teatralnaya Square, 1, Saratov, 410012, Russia
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
N. A. Shyurova   

Saratov State Agrarian University named after N.I. Vavilova, Teatralnaya Square, 1, Saratov, 410012, Russia
Publication date: 2020-08-01
 
J. Ecol. Eng. 2020; 21(6):29–35
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ABSTRACT
Currently, the use of biofuel as an alternative energy source for the operation of tractors and cars is becoming increasingly relevant. The use of biofuel is a promising area for the needs of many sectors of the national economy, including the agro-industrial complex. This is due to two problems: first, the global oil reserves are being depleted, and second, the burning of petroleum products causes environmental pollution and serious environmental consequences. The article focuses on the issues of assessing various oil crops for the production of biofuel. In contrast to the favorable conditions in Ukraine, Germany, France, the USA, and Brazil, where rape, soy, and sunflower are used for the production of biofuel, safflower is more suitable for obtaining renewable plant material for the production of biofuel in the arid conditions of cultivation. It has been found that, while many other crops die of drought, safflower forms high and stable yields at the level of 1.2 t/ha, while the more hydrophilous sunflower and spring rape sharply reduce their productivity in arid years — 0.8 and 0.5 t/ha, respectively. The research performed by the specialists of the Saratov State Agrarian University (SSAU) during many years have scientifically substantiated the feasibility of growing specifically safflower seeds for the production of biofuel (mixed diesel fuel) in the Lower Volga steppe zone. Safflower oil-based biofuel has low viscosity; it can have a positive effect on the performance of the fuel equipment in tractor units. The performed production tests have shown that when the engine is running on mixed diesel fuel containing 20 % of safflower oil and 80 % of diesel fuel, no reduction of the engine power is observed, while the service life of fuel equipment increases, and the amount of harmful emissions into the atmosphere decreases.