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Improving biodiesel yield of animal waste fats by combination of a pre-treatment technique and microwave technology Renewable Energy

Idowu, IA, Ortoneda Pedrola, M, Wylie, S, Teng, KH, Kot, P, Phipps, D and Shaw, A (2019) Improving biodiesel yield of animal waste fats by combination of a pre-treatment technique and microwave technology Renewable Energy. Renewable Energy, 142. pp. 535-542. ISSN 1879-0682

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Recently, due to its low cost there has been increased attention on Animal Waste Fats (AWFs) as a feedstock for biodiesel production. Advanced microwave technology has also been reported by many researchers to enhance the transesterification in biodiesel production. However, esterification of free fatty acids in the feedstock reported here has not attracted so much attention. AWFs come with its challenges namely, high free fatty acid (FFA) content and high water content. This study utilizes AWFs (tallow) containing very large amount of FFA; (25wt.%, 18 wt.%, and 9.4 wt.% FFA/AWFs) as feedstock for fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) production. A simple thermal pre-treatment technique followed microwave assisted esterification with methanol (MeOH) was conducted in a batch process to reduce the FFA content to as low as 1wt.% FFA, which is then suitable for the alkaline transesterification process. The pre-treatment of AWFs at 88°C to first reduce water and decrease viscosity, followed by an operating microwave power of 70W producing a power density 1.147mW/m3, achieved a 15% increase in reduction of FFA over 30W microwave power and conventional thermal method. Under optimum conditions, using 2.0 wt.wt% sulphuric acid catalyst/AWFs and 1:6 molar ratio AWF/MeOH, the FFA conversion of 93wt. % was achieved. The results indicated that the pre-treatment and microwave application provided a faster route to high FFA reduction of AWFs during esterification process. The proposed technology is promising for the potential scale up industrial application.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering, 0913 Mechanical Engineering
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions: Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Civil Engineering (merged with Built Env 10 Aug 20)
Publisher: Elsevier
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2019 11:13
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 09:29
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.renene.2019.04.103
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10607
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