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Trends in Chemical Engineering   Volumes    Volume 10 
Transesterification of used vegetable oil to biodiesel. Heterogeneous catalyst
A. Brito, R. Arvelo, F. J. García, M. T. García, M. E. Borges, M. C. Díaz, N. Otero, M. D. García
Pages: 77 - 85
Number of pages: 9
Trends in Chemical Engineering
Volume 10 

Copyright © 2006 Research Trends. All rights reserved


Complete recycling of waste edible oil recently attracts considerable attention as a worldwide social problem. Production of a biodiesel fuel from used vegetable oil is considered an important step of reducing and recycling waste oil. The technology employs used vegetable oil as a potential renewable and alternative resource for fossil diesel fuel and the transesterification reaction is the most used process to obtain biodiesel. Estimations about quantities of wasted vegetable oils generated in Canary Islands give a total volume of residue that justifies a biodiesel plant from fried oil in the Canary Islands. Parallel to the estimation of the residue, a natural porous material, pumice, was tested as a filtration material previously to introduce the oil in a fixed bed reactor or as a catalyst in a heterogeneous continuous reactor. Influences of particle size, temperature and oil flowrate on the filter yield have been studied, as well as the pumice regeneration capacity. Pumice proves to be a good filtration material for fried oil. Few studies have been reported using heterogeneous catalysis for oil transesterification reaction and in this work pumice and several Zeolite Y have been tested as a catalyst for the reaction of methanol with fried oil. The influence of temperature, methanol/oil molar ratio, feed mixture flowrate and solid particle size, on the conversion of the reaction has been studied. HCl acidified pumice, zeolites Y530 and Y756 presents higher reaction rate and it appears to be the better materials to be used in an industrial process.

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