During the project, one of the practical experiments carried out was the determination of the energy content of biodiesel produced at the farm and the residual glycerine.
The experiment was held at the Chemistry Lab of University of Strathclyde. A bomb calorimeter was used to test two samples:
The following diagram shows how a bomb calorimeter works:
The results obtained are as follows:
The energy content of pure glycerine is about 19.0 MJ/kg. The higher value for crude glycerine is explained by the presence of methanol and traces of biodiesel in the sample.
Compared to petrodiesel, whose energy content is around 43.33MJ/kg, biodiesel presented 12% lower energy content, as expected from literature.