2010 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Generally, to expand the use of animal fats, vegetable oils and their coproducts by developing new and/or alternative processes to exploit the potential of these feedstocks as biobased products and biofuels. Specifically, to develop, demonstrate and implement a technological route for the production of biodiesel from trap grease, a waste product of the food industry, produced from animal fats and vegetable oils.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Generally, develop technologies to improve the economics of biodiesel from low-cost, agriculturally-derived lipid feedstocks using conventional alkali-catalyzed transesterification or alternative methods. Specifically, design, implement, troubleshoot, and operate at pilot and small production scale, a method to dewater and convert to fatty acid methyl esters the triglyceride and free fatty acid species found in trap grease from multiple sources. Design and implement qualitative and quantitative analytical methods to determine the composition of trap grease and biodiesel produced from it.
In partnership with this private sector collaborator, we collaborated on the design and blueprint layout of a demonstration scale facility implementing a new process for biodiesel production, especially from low quality feedstocks. Oversaw construction of the corresponding plant by a private sector contractor. Analyzed the resulting biodiesel; developed methods for contaminant removal.
We also conducted research aimed at reducing levels of sulfur compounds in biodiesel made from various low-cost feedstocks, such as trap grease. Our research consisted of.
1)developing analytical technology to detect and quantify sulfur species in biodiesels from low value feedstocks;.
2)research to separate these sulfur species from FAME by distillation processes; and.
3)explore use of metal chelators and polar adsorbants to remove sulfur from “high sulfur biodiesels”. This project is coordinated by frequent site visits and a weekly conference call.