Current international policies promote the transition from the use of oil for transport to other sources of energy, such as electricity and biofuels. Although biofuels currently cannot compete with fossil fuels in terms of price and availability, increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are so worrying to push the search for new raw materials for biofuels. The use of waste materials from the food industry seems a good option.
The residues of the wine industry represent an interesting raw material for biodiesel in countries with significant wine production. Grape seeds contain about 7% of oil, which can be extracted by pressing or by applying solvents (such as n-hexane) and converted into biofuels through the reaction with bioethanol obtained from wine production. It is a completely renewable biofuel obtained from fatty acid ethyl esters. As the researchers point out, "the aim of the study was not to find the best or the only source of biofuels, but to increase the spectrum of options, key to sustainability".
The properties of this new biofuel are very satisfactory, falling within the limits established by European and American regulations. The authors of the study underline that "the set of sustainable biofuels, generated by numerous raw materials different from one another, can strongly contribute to covering the world's energy needs for transport, reducing oil dependency".
David Bolonio, María-Jesús García-Martínez, Marcelo F. Ortega, Magín Lapuerta, Jose Rodríguez-Fernández, Laureano Canoira. (2019). Fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) obtained from grapeseed oil: A fully renewable biofuel. Renewable energy 132: 278-283. DOI: 10.1016/j.renene.2018.08.010