BIODIESEL PRODUCTION BY A CONTINUOUS PROCESS USING A HETEROGENEOUS CATALYSTAuthor(s): SHARDA D. NAGE*, K. S. KULKARNI, A. D. KULKARNI and NIRAJ S. TOPARE
The production and use of biodiesel has seen a quantum jump in the recent past due to benefits associated with its ability to mitigate Green House Gas (GHG). There are large number of commercial plants producing biodiesel by transesterification of vegetable oils and fats based on base catalyzed (caustic) homogeneous trans-esterification of oils. However, homogeneous process needs steps of glycerol separation, washings, very stringent and extremely low limits of Na, K, glycerides and moisture limits in biodiesel. Several commercial processes to produce fatty acid methyl esters from vegetable oils have been developed and are available today. These processes consume basic catalysts such as caustic soda or sodium methylate which form unrecyclable waste products. This work provides a general description of a new process using a heterogeneous catalytic system for biodiesel production.