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How to start the bio-diesel business

Starting a business is the way to financial freedom.


In this guide, I’ll explain how to start the biodiesel business. Biodiesel is a good and green alternative to conventional diesel. Here we will discuss Jatropha plantation and then bio-diesel conversion and its use in engine. Starting a biodiesel business is good for the environment as well as for entrepreneurs. Bio-diesel made from Jatropha is a cheap and green alternative to petroleum diesel.

jaitropha and its plantation

Jatropha is also called Ratan Jyoti. This is a plant of the Euphorbia family. It is mainly found in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, etc. It is successfully grown in high-altitude places in all the plain fields of India. Its growth is very fast. Many of its other species are found in natural conditions. But only Jatropha has been found suitable for oil production. It is an oil-producing plant, which is about 3-4 meters high and looks like an ornamental plant.

It is used as fuel (Bio Diesel). No animal eats this plant and it has the ability to tolerate drought. The oil in its seeds is about 32 to 40 percent. Jatropha is cultivated in almost all types of land. But generally, it is cultivated on less fertile, fallow, sandy, stony, and less deep land, where there is no water logging. Oil from Jatropha seeds is extracted by a simple expeller or double expeller. After filtering the oil, it is used in all types of diesel-powered engines, such as tractors, generator sets, rail, etc.

The most important and basic requirement for starting this business is the land where you can cultivate Jatropha. The land can be your own or you can take it on rent from someone. A good way to get Jatropha seeds is to motivate nearby farmers for cultivation. Because Jatropha grows on wasteland too, this type of land will be available for rent at a cheap rate.

For cultivation, plants should be planted at an interval of 1.5 meters. This crop is rain-fed, but if there is no rain, 4-5 irrigations should be done throughout the year at a regular interval. Watering is necessary at the time of flowering and fruiting.

Production of bio-diesel

Biodiesel is made through a chemical process called transesterification whereby the glycerin is separated from the fat or vegetable oil. The process produces two products – methyl ester and glycerin – as a by-product. The methyl ester is the chemical name of biodiesel.

The total project cost may range from 15 lakhs to 2 crores. It depends on which project you choose. The cost of manufacturing is reduced by the batch method although the production is also reduced. But small capital is very important to start with. We will soon come out with a detailed calculation on the project setup.

Plant and machinery for bio diesel business

Two type of process are there to produce the biosiesel. First, continuous process and second, batch process. Accroding to the process, machinery is also available namely batch palnt and continuous plant.

For a quick overview of plant and machinery cost click here. Or you can do a through research and analysis of your own.

Both have their own advantage and disadvantage. Continuous process plant are great for lager production. They cost more hence. Batch type of processing plants are for smaller scale production. They cost less than continuous plant.

Land requirements for bio diesel production

Once you’ve decided the plant you want to install, its easy to decide the land requirement. A land in any industrial area would work. If you wish to use your own land and not industrial land, you have to go for a lot of NOCs from government.

An industrial land normally fulfills all the requirements of an industry. So you don’t need to go for a stressful profess of NOCs from the government. Even if you need any more NOCs, it will be far more less than the non-industrial land.

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