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Research Project Information




Research Project Summary Information



Biodiesel Production Based on Waste Cooking Oils and Heterogeneouse Catalyst(ST8500-1)

United Environment and Energy LLC

Background

Biodiesel is a renewable diesel fuel substitute made from new or used vegetable oils or animal fats. When made to standards defined by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), biodiesel can be sold in diesel transportation markets. Researchers hope to reduce the cost of biodiesel production by developing a reusable catalyst to replace the catalyst used in current commercial practice, making the process continuous, rather than batch, and focusing on less expensive waste grease feedstock.

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Project Description

The overall goal of Stage One was to develop an effective heterogeneous catalyst system to convert waste cooking oils to high quality biodiesel. In Stage One, researchers developed a reusable, heterogeneous catalyst for biodiesel production, built a pilot plant, and demonstrated production of 30 gallons of biodiesel from waste cooking oil. Stage One success was based on the catalyst efficiency. Stage Two, if funded, involves commercializing heterogeneous catalyst production, building and operating a 300,000 gallon/year plant, and studying the feasibility of developing a continuous process.

Benefits

The successful completion of this two-stage project will lead to an energy-efficient and cost-effective biodiesel production technology. This proposed process uses 55 MJ of energy per gallon biodiesel, as opposed to 67 MJ used in traditional biodiesel production. The production costs are projected to be $0.90 per gallon from a more typical $1.50 to $2.25.

Project Results

The catalyst exhibits superior performance to any heterogeneous catalysts reported in literature for converting waste cooking oils to biodiesel, yielding higher than 98% conversion at room temperature and ambient pressure in six hours. The goal was an 85% yield, and it was re-used in 20 consecutive reaction cycles with an activity decrease of only 3%. A small pilot plant was constructed, and 30 gallons of biodiesel were produced under a laboratory permit (300 gallons as planned was not feasible). The biodiesel meets ASTM D6751 standard in flash point, water and sediment, kinematic viscosity, sulfated ash, sulfur, copper strip corrosion, cetane number, cloud point, free glycerol, and total glycerol. The cost of the catalyst is 4.8 cents for producing one gallon of biodiesel, versus a catalyst cost of 16 cents for a conventional homogeneous alkaline catalyst. Taking into account the simple separation and purification process of this new technology, the total production cost per gallon of biodiesel in the 300,000 gallon/year capacity facility is $0.95. The estimated accuracy is +/- 15%. This gives biodiesel the ability to compete with petroleum-based diesel on a production cost basis. Stage Two involves commercializing heterogeneous catalyst production, building and operating a 300,000 gallon/year plant, and studying the feasibility of developing a continuous process. UEE plans to submit a Stage Two proposal under PON 737.

Contractor

United Environment and Energy LLC
111 Ridge Rd
Horseheads, NY 14845

Principle Investigator

Ben Wen

Universities Involved

Technologies

Project Type:

Indigenous/Renewable Energy Resources


Technologies Types:

NYSERDA Contact Information

Judy Jarnefeld
JJ1@nyserda.ny.gov

Program

R&D - Environment & Energy Res

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST8500-1




Last Updated: 12/1/2010