Processes for production of biodiesel from vegetables oils

Jha, M. K.; Sharma, Hem Kant; Marwaha, Bindu
April 2004
Chemical Business;Apr/Jun2004, Vol. 18 Issue 2, p61
Trade Publication
Vegetable oils and their derivatives (especially methyl esters), commonly referred to as "biodiesel," are prominent candidates as alternative diesel fuels. They have advanced from being purely experimental fuels to initial stages of commercialization. They are technically competitive with or offer technical advantages compared to conventional diesel fuel. Besides being a renewable and domestic resource, biodiesel reduces most emissions while engine performance and fuel economy are nearly identical compared to conventional fuels. The cost of biodiesel, however, is the main hurdle to commercialization of the product. The used cooking oils are used as raw material, adaptation of continuous transesterification process and recovery of high quality glycerol from biodiesel by-product (glycerol) are primary options to be considered to lower the cost of biodiesel. There are four primary ways to make biodiesel, direct use and blending, microemulsions, thermal cracking (pyrolysis) and transesterification. The most commonly used method is transesterification of vegetable oils and animal fats. The transesterification reaction is affected by molar ratio of glycerides to alcohol, catalysts, reaction temperature, reaction time and free fatty acids and water content of oils or fats. This report consists an overview of all these factors.


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