WIT Press


Comparing Three Options For Biodiesel Production From Waste Vegetable Oil

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/WM080151

Volume

109

Pages

8

Page Range

133 - 140

Published

2008

Size

282 kb

Author(s)

A. A. Refaat & S. T. El Sheltawy

Abstract

Biodiesel production is worthy of continued study and optimization of production procedures due to its environmentally beneficial attributes and its renewable nature. From a waste-management standpoint, production of biodiesel from used cooking oil is environmentally beneficial since it provides a cleaner way of disposing of these products than is typically the case. Biodiesel produced by base-catalyzed transesterification of vegetable oil is usually performed in batch reactors where the required energy is provided by heating accompanied by mechanical mixing. Using this technique, the best yield percentage was obtained using a methanol/oil molar ratio of 6:1, potassium hydroxide as the catalyst (1%), and 65°C temperature for one hour. Alternatively, ultrasonication can provide an effective way to attain the required mixing while providing the necessary activation energy. It was concluded that transesterification by low frequency ultrasound (20 kHz) offered a lot of advantages over the conventional classical procedure. It proved to be efficient (biodiesel yield up to 98-99%), as well as time and energy saving (dramatic reduction of reaction time to 5 min, compared to one hour or more using conventional batch reactor systems, and a remarkable reduction in static separation time to 25 min, compared to 8 hours). The third option studied was the application of microwave irradiation. The application of radio frequency microwave energy offered a fast, easy route to this valuable biofuel with advantages of enhancing the reaction rate and improving the separation process. The methodology allowed for the use of high FFA content feedstock, including used cooking oil, hence reducing the cost of production, which constitutes a major hurdle towards widespread commercialization of biodiesel. Keywords: biodiesel, waste vegetable oil, transesterification, optimization, ultrasonication, microwave.

Keywords

biodiesel, waste vegetable oil, transesterification, optimization, ultrasonication, microwave.