Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
AgriGenomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Biodiesel Production Goes Eco-friendly

Published: Friday, March 21, 2014
Last Updated: Friday, March 21, 2014
Bookmark and Share
New water-free process for the production of biodiesel from waste vegetable oils.

The sustainability of biofuels as a renewable energy source has been boosted with the development of a new water-free process for the production of biodiesel from waste vegetable oils.

The global production of biofuels - such as ethanol and biodiesel - has increased by over 600 per cent in a decade to more than 100 billion litres in 2011. Biofuels are used widely in the transport sector and account for three per cent of total road transport fuel globally.

However, biofuels production has been criticized for causing deforestation, adding to the pressure on agricultural land needed for food production and the environmental impact of wastewater produced during their production.

Traditional methods of biodiesel production use high volumes of water to remove impurities or 'soaps' to meet stringent quality standards. For palm oil production, 50 per cent of water used becomes palm oil mill effluent - the largest pollutant of rivers in Malaysia.

However, researchers from the University of Porto, Portugal, are now looking at water-free methods for purifying biofuels, including those made from waste cooking oils, animal fats and other fatty wastes derived from industrial activities.

Instead of water, researchers used catalysts to pre-treat and target impurities such as calcium 'soaps' in the biodiesel. The impurities were then removed by absorption into resins or passing through ceramic membranes.

The researchers were able to produce good quality biodiesel from both virgin vegetable oil and, importantly, waste oils used for frying. The new process could provide significant economic and environmental benefits compared to other more energy intensive water-based production methods.

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) chief executive, Dr David Brown, said: "In some countries like Brazil, biofuels provide nearly a quarter of their road transport needs. In the European Union, negotiations are under way to increase biofuels for transport to ten per cent. And Indonesia - the world's largest producer of palm oil - has announced plans to increase biodiesel production to reduce its reliance on crude oil imports.

"However, current production processes do not always deliver the full potential of biofuels to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and there are continuing challenges including economic and environmental.

"But demand for biofuels is clearly increasing and advancement in chemical engineering processes, such as the use of heterogeneous catalysis4 and water-free methods using membranes, are very welcome to consolidate biofuels as a globally accepted and sustainable source of renewable energy."

The role of chemical engineers in the health, water, food and energy sectors is explored in IChemE’s latest technical strategy, Chemical Engineering Matters.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,100+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Plant Ageing Gene Key to Food Supply
Controlling the life-cycle of plants could be the solution to increasing food production as population exceeds nine billion by 2050.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Natural Waste Solution for Reclaiming Contaminated Land
A charcoal made from biomass could hold the key to re-claiming thousands of square kilometres of polluted ‘brownfield’ land across the world.
Monday, July 15, 2013
Scientific News
World’s Largest Coral Gene Database
‘Genetic toolkit’ will help shed light on which species survive climate change.
A Peachy Defense System for Seeds
ETH chemists are developing a new coating method to protect seeds from being eaten by insects. In doing so, they have drawn inspiration from the humble peach and a few of its peers.
Roundup Impacts Gene Expression
Study published on the impact of low-dose toxicity of Roundup weed-killer on gene expression profiles.
Meaningful Part of Maize Genome Defined
FSU-Cornell team show that a small percentage of the maize genome is responsible for 40 percent of a plant’s trait diversity.
Plant Stem Cell Discovery Points to Increased Yields
Braking signals from the leaves tell stem cells to stop proliferating.
Plasma Dose Improves Agricultural Crop Harvests
Researchers at Japan have developed a technique to improve crop yields by treating seeds prior to planting with a safe dose of plasma radiation.
TGAC Installs Largest SGI UV 300 Supercomputer for Life Sciences
The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) partners with Global HPC hardware giant SGI to address the most complex problems in genomics analysis.
Carrot Genome Uncovered
Carrot genome paints picture of domestication, could help improve crops.
Flowering Regulation Mechanism Discovered
Monash researchers have discovered a new mechanism that enables plants to regulate their flowering in response to raised temperatures.
Nanoparticles Present Sustainable Way to Grow Food Crops
Nanoparticle technology can help reduce the need for fertilizer, creating a more sustainable way to grow crops such as mung beans.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,100+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!