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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: New Biodiesel Production Methods: Direct Alkaline Transesterification of Lipid Bearing Materials

Authors
item Haas, Michael
item Wagner, Karen
item Foglia, Thomas
item Marmer, William

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 28, 2005
Publication Date: January 30, 2005
Citation: Haas, M.J., Scott, K.M., Foglia, T.A., Marmer, W.N. 2005. New biodiesel production methods: direct alkaline transesterification of lipid bearing materials [abstract]. National Biodiesel Conference & Expo. p. 15.

Technical Abstract: In the United States, biodiesel is most often synthesized by the reaction of refined soybean oil with methanol containing a catalyst, generally sodium hydroxide. The resulting fatty acid methyl ester product, however, is typically unable to compete economically with petroleum-derived diesel fuel. Through the development of alternate processes for the synthesis of biodiesel, its economic competitiveness may be improved. We describe here a new approach to biodiesel production. In this method, termed 'in situ transesterification', the oil-bearing product is directly exposed to alkaline methanol. This results in the synthesis of simple fatty methyl esters. We have optimized the reaction as it applies to flaked soybeans. The resulting ester product met the ASTM specifications for biodiesel. An economic model for an industrial scale facility producing biodiesel by this method was created, allowing estimation of the cost of biodiesel production by this method. This model highlighted the need for, and type of, process modifications to decrease the predicted production cost. Lipid-bearing materials other than soybeans also are suitable substrates for in situ transesterification, and the application of this method to distillers dried grains with solubles, to corn germ, to canola, and to meat & bone meal will be discussed.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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