Tony Piccolo – Aquatic Biofuels Specialist, Rome-Italy
Viet Nam and Finland have joined forces to build facilities on a catfish farm to produce fuel from the waste generated from the farm itself. Finland’s VTT Technical Research Center, the largest applied research organization in Northern Europe together with its partners have launched ENERFISH which will run as an experimental project til 2011.
The process of converting fish waste to bio-diesel, has to first forego the process of conversion to fish oil. Once the fish oil is made, there is a purifying process and caustic soda has to be added to in order to separate the glycerine (which can be sold separately to the cosmetic industry). Then it is just a matter of adding methanol (usually 25%) and cleaning and purifying the liquid. It is then ready to be used as bio-diesel. ENERFISH have a total budget of €5 million of which 60% comes from EU funding and 10% from the government of Finland.
The machines running off the fish-diesel need no modifications however the smell of fish is dominant when operating the machines or vehicles. This will improve as technology advances. Other companies that are working on conversion of fish oil to biodiesel include AQUAFINCA – Honduras, AGIFISH – Viet Nam and ENERFISH – Viet Nam
I am currently finalising a paper on the conversion of fish oil to biodiesel please subscribe to the website or write to me to receive a full update.