Masters Theses


"In the wake of the events of September 11th 2001, the quest to relieve the nation’s dependence on petroleum fuels have taken a new urgency, there is a renewed interest in use of renewable biogenic fuels in particular -- the “biodiesel.” Biodiesel generally refers to fatty acid methyl esters of monohydric alcohols -- predominantly the methyl alcohol.

The principal sources of fatty acids are vegetable oils - soybean oil and canola oil. However, there are other “cheaper” sources of fatty acids that include beef tallow, poultry fats, pork fats and the used cooking oils. The first two are available in abundance in the mid-western and south-central United States. In fact conversion of the cheaper material into biodiesel would not only provide an opportunity to produce cheaper biodiesel but alleviate waste disposal related environmental problems for the poultry and the beef processing industries. These problems are indeed very large and will continue to grow because of the “Mad Cow Syndrome” and its association with the recycling of animal products in the animal feeds. Thus the animal fats and used cooking oils represent the cheapest sources of raw materials for biodiesel production. However, in contrast to the well researched and developed technologies for conversion of vegetable oils to biodiesel, the conversion of animals fats and used cooking oils to biodiesel have not been researched extensively.

This work focused on producing biodiesel from low-cost feedstocks such as chicken fats and used cooking oils. A batch type pilot plant was designed and fabricated to produce biodiesel from triglycerides. Detailed analysis and experimental work was done to optimize the process parameters. The product quality was monitored using Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC), a qualitative technique. The concentration of the fatty acid methyl esters in the product was estimated using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), a quantitative technique. This work concluded with the optimum process specification and recommendations for further research"--Abstract, pages iv-v.


Flanigan, V. J.

Committee Member(s)

Chandrashekhara, K.
Kapila, Shubhender


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

Fall 2002


x, 68 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 65-67).


© 2002 Balasubramaniam Karthikeyan, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Biodiesel fuels -- United States
Factories -- Design and construction

Thesis Number

T 8154

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