Category Archives: Biodiesel science and technology

Industrial and customer acceptance/awareness

Fuel quality, OEM acceptance and governmental support are key to production and encouraging consumers to use biodiesel. Quality is absolutely essential for public acceptance. Biodiesel development cannot do without numerous diesel engine manufacturers (OEMs) guaranteeing their own engines (warranties), and integration into the existing blending and diesel infrastructure of the petrochemical industry. Optimising engine design might allow greater flexibility in […]

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BTL technologies

In the future, renewable fuels will increasingly be produced from cellulosic or waste materials. There is, however, the question of the economic availability of biomass. Harvesting, treating, transporting, storing and delivering large volumes of biomass feedstock, at a desired quality, all year round, to a (high- volume, low-value) biofuel processing plant raises considerable supply chain issues and requires careful logistical […]

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Utilisation of by-products

New markets with value-added industrial use for co-products obtained from plants producing industrial oils, such as seed cake, need to be developed (white biotechnology applications) and further alternative uses for glycerol (glycerol-derivative chemistry) from biodiesel production need to be defined in order to ensure economic operation. New biodiesel processes are wanted which can produce high-purity glycerol. Excess market supply of […]

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Production capacity

With the recent increase in biodiesel production capacities worldwide, and quite a few large-scale plants, full capacity is no longer assured; in fact, an economically unsustainable overcapacity has developed in some countries that will get worse in 2009 (expectations of up to 40%). The underutilised biodiesel capacity worldwide needs to be put back to work. Use of modular units will […]

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Breakthrough catalyst technologies

While traditional homogeneous catalysis in biodiesel production offers a series of advantages, its major disadvantage is the fact that the catalyst cannot be reused. Moreover, catalyst residues have to be removed from the ester product, usually necessitating several washing steps that increase production costs. There are various successful developments at simplifying product purification by applying heterogeneous catalysts that can be […]

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Epilogue: outlook for biodiesel science and technology

Abstract: Biodiesel is now a reality but not a product without challenges: sustainable feedstock sources and regularity of supplies, fuel quality assurance, international quality standards, oxidative stability, energy policy and regulatory issues, taxation, production costs, overcapacity, utilisation of by-products, marketing, etc. The current state of the biodiesel industry is illustrated. First-generation batch biodiesel technology is transiting to continuous processing and […]

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Selective hydrogenation

The aim of partial hydrogenation of fatty acid esters is a certain reduction in the amount of polyunsaturates, while generally avoiding formation of saturates or trans products. In particular, selective hydrogenation of vegetable oils may be carried out with the purpose of obtaining low trans isomer formation [29], high conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) formation [30], reduction of undesirable flavour properties […]

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