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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Foglia, Thomas
item Haas, Michael
item Mcaloon, Andrew
item Marmer, William

Submitted to: World Congress International Society for Fat Research
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2005
Publication Date: 9/25/2005
Citation: Foglia, T.A., Haas, M.J., Mcaloon, A.J., Marmer, W.N. 2005. Process models for biodiesel production: effect of feedstock and processing [abstract]. World Congress International Society for Fat Research. p. 87-88.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In contemporary biodiesel production it is typical to employ a feedstock that is an isolated lipid, such as a vegetable oil, animal fat or grease. For oil seeds, this necessitates the prior isolation of the oil, which adds cost and processing technology to biodiesel production. We have developed process models to estimate the capital and operating costs of moderately-sized facilities for the production of biodiesel. The major process operations in the plant were continuous-process vegetable oil transesterification, and ester and glycerol recovery. Similarly, cost models were constructed for producing biodiesel from soapstocks, a byproduct of oilseed refining, and recycled greases. Economic analyses of these processes were compared with the economics of producing biodiesel from refined feedstocks. In another approach, we developed a process for the direct high efficiency transesterification of the lipid residing in oilseeds into esters using alkaline methanol, eliminating the need for prior isolation of the lipid. Following optimization of the reaction, an economic model for the process was developed and its process costs compared with the refined oil model. The models are flexible in that they can be modified to calculate the effects on capital and production costs of changes in feedstock cost, changes in the type of feedstock employed, changes in the value of the glycerol co-product, and changes in process chemistry and technology.

Last Modified: 08/21/2017
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