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Gombotz K.,State College | Parette R.,State College | Austic G.,Piedmont Biofuels Industrial Llc | Kannan D.,Pennsylvania State University | Matson J.V.,State College
Fuel | Year: 2012

Manganese (II) oxide (MnO) and titanium (II) oxide (TiO) solid catalysts were found to be robust catalysts for both the transesterification of triglycerides and esterification of free fatty acids. These metal oxides were shown to exhibit long life with little loss of activity. The ability to esterify free fatty acids (FFA) and handle high levels of water illustrates the potential of these catalysts to produce biodiesel from low quality feedstocks without the pretreatment operations required with the traditional process. Some soaps were produced in the presence of free fatty acids, but soaps were within tolerable levels and formed at concentrations that were orders of magnitude lower than the traditional process. This results in significant reductions in product washing. By utilizing a 2-stage process, high quality fuel (meeting ASTM specifications) and glycerol were produced. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Qiul J.,CAS Institute of Geology and Geophysics | Fan X.,Piedmont Biofuels Industrial Llc | Zou H.,DuPont Company
Chemistry and Technology of Fuels and Oils | Year: 2011

Fossil fuels are dwindling daily. An ever increasing demand for energy and environmental concern stimulate the search for alternative energy sources. As a renewable energy, biodiesel is one of the most attractive due to environmental advantages. However, a major hurdle in the commercialization of biodiesel from virgin oil is the raw material cost. Low-cost feedstock resources are playing a vital role in the whole biodiesel industry. This paper briefly reviews the inedible vegetable oil sources that have been explored for biodiesel production. In addition, comparisons of the advantages and disadvantages of biodiesel synthesis through homogeneous, heterogeneous, and enzymatic catalysis are also discussed in this review. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. Source

Fan X.,Piedmont Biofuels Industrial Llc | Niehus X.,Industrial Biotechnology Unit | Sandoval G.,Industrial Biotechnology Unit
Methods in Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

The global shortages of fossil fuels, significant increase in the price of crude oil, and increased environmental concerns have stimulated the rapid growth in biodiesel production. Biodiesel is generally produced through transesterification reaction catalyzed either chemically or enzymatically. Enzymatic transesterification draws high attention because that process shows certain advantages over the chemical catalysis of transesterification and it is "greener." This paper reviews the current status of biodiesel production with lipase-biocatalysis approach, including sources of lipases, kinetics, and reaction mechanism of biodiesel production using lipases, and lipase immobilization techniques. Factors affecting biodiesel production and economic feasibility of biodiesel production using lipases are also covered. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Source

Fan X.,Piedmont Biofuels Industrial Llc
Lipid Technology | Year: 2012

Enzymatic biodiesel production shows a very high potential to be an eco-friendly process compared with traditional chemical processes, which could pose downstream processing problems. As an environmentally benign green approach, enzymatically catalyzed biodiesel production avoids the generation of wastewater and eases the recovery of high purity glycerol. This article discusses the benefits of using enzymatic approach. Both the opportunities and challenges are covered. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Agency: Department of Energy | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 139.25K | Year: 2010

Existing biodiesel production processes results in very low quality waste water which is high in fats, oils and greases and BOD (biological oxygen demand). This material is most often discharged to city sewer systems, causing problems in the pipes and at the waste water treatment plants themselves. Furthermore, crude biodiesel glycerin, a co-product of the process, has little or negative value, causing some producers to offload it at a loss or even worse into streams, lakes, or sewers. By developing an enzymatic biodiesel production method the washing step in the production process can be eliminated. With no washing procedures required, the waste water concern is alleviated. The current biodiesel production methodology forms soaps or salts in both the biodiesel and glycerin phases. Thus, eliminating soap formation through the use of enzymes results in a more complete separation of biodiesel and glycerin and a high quality, salable glycerin co-product. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: In addition to eliminating wash water and improving glycerin quality, enzymatically catalyzed biodiesel production requires fewer energy inputs and can use low quality feedstocks like yellow and brown grease. Yellow and brown grease are quickly becoming the primary biodiesel feedstocks, as existing virgin feedstocks are more costly and are challenged by the current Renewable Fuel standard policies. Though it is possible to make biodiesel from brown grease using existing technology, the technique is not often utilized because of the high yield loss and large capital investment. This enzymatic production process would be a low cost, high yield alternative. It is our assertion that this technique will raise demand for brown grease and ultimately reduce FOG (fats, oils, and greases) in sewers, a huge cost for many waste water municipalities

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