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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/13621

Title: Catalytic Applications in the Production of Biodiesel from Vegetable Oils
Authors: Sivasamy, Arumugam
Cheah, Kien Yoo
Fornasiero, Paolo
Kemausuor, Francis
Zinoviev, Sergey
Miertus, Stanislav
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: ChemSusChem
Abstract: Notwithstanding the recent debate on the perspectives of the further development of first-generation biofuels (based on energy crops) due to alarming socio-economic implications (feedstock competition with food), and even environmental concerns in some cases (non-sustainable practices leading to the increase of CO2 levels), the production of biodiesel from vegetable oils and animal fats still attracts significant and justified attention. Considering the existing agricultural and industrial production capacities, as well as the spinning interest in the exploitation of future-generation feedstocks such as nonedible, waste, and algae oils, it is expected that a significant part of future renewable fuels will still be represented by vegetable oil/animal fat based biodiesel. A variety of economic and social benefits for local communities, especially in developing countries, have been put forward to support the wider adoption of biodiesel.[1–5] The production costs of diesel fuel from petroleum, which reached 1.00 USDL 1 (crude oil and refining) in May 2008,[6] have been becoming evermore competitive with those of biodiesel. Very different costs for biodiesel production have been reported, ranging from 0.42 USDL 1 (biodiesel from animal fats, New Zealand; 2007) to 0.90 USDL 1 (oilseed rape, Europe; soybean, USA; palm oil, Malaysia; 2007),[7] or even 2.00 USDL 1 for next-generation biodiesel (algae, NREL estimate).[5] As a rule, 76–80%[8] or a larger fraction[9] of the biodiesel from vegetable oils cost accounts for the feedstock cost. For example, the production costs of 1.75 USDL 1 for biodiesel produced from rape oil include the price of rape oil at 1.60 USDL 1.[10] On the other hand, in the case of waste oil the situation can be inverse, for example, 0.53 USDL 1 bio-feedstock cost versus 0.64 USDL 1 processing costs.[11] The feedstock cost can also vary largely from one bio-feedstock to another, for example, 1.28 USDL 1 for rapeseed oil versus 0.70 USDL 1 for soybean oil[5] versus 0.13 USDL 1 for yellow grease.[12] In addition, the bio-feedstock cost varies substantially with time (e.g. the price of palm oil rose from 0.40 USDL 1 in 2004 to over 1.00 USDL 1 in 2008) and also regionally (e.g. the costs of biodiesel production from rapeseed oil are 0.55 USDL 1 in Korea against 2.85 USDL 1 in Japan).[5] Even though the portion related to the processing and conversion of the feedstock in the total product cost is often negligible, the role of the production technology is not to be underestimated. In fact, specific technological approaches are required to treat multiple feedstocks, including low-cost ones like waste oils. In addition, in the prospective of further biodiesel market development there is a tendency of equilibration of feedstock prices which will bring about a tight competition between production know-how. Apart from the significant role of sound practices in feedstock exploitation and cultivation in meeting global environmental goals and in stabilizing the socio-economic balance of the biodiesel industry, the further development of the biodiesel industry also lies in scientific and technological innovation.[ 13, 14] In this regard, there is a significant interest in improving the existing biodiesel production methods from both economic and environmental viewpoints, as well as in alternative and innovative production processes. The direct use of straight vegetable oils (SVOs) as fuels in diesel engines were investigated well before the energy crisis of the 1970s.[15] However, the high viscosity of straight vegetable oils[16, 17] causes a range of problems and leads to poor fuel characteristics. Among possible solutions, such as engine modifications, blending straight vegetable oils with fossil diesel, micro-emulsification, transesterification, or thermal cracking, the transesterification of oils to the corresponding fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) has seen wider application owing to its easy, cost-effective technology as well as because of the favorable physicochemical parameters of the fuel.[13, 18] Another promising approach to convert vegetable oils and fats into quality fuel is hydrotreating/cracking technology, which
Description: This article is published in ChemSusChem and also available at DOI: 10.1002/cssc.200800253
URI: 10.1002/cssc.200800253
http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/13621
Appears in Collections:College of Science

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