Title

Characterization of Biodiesel Using Various Feedstocks

Presenter Information

Melissa Vidal

Department

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Major

Chemical Engineering

Research Advisor

Smith, Joseph D.

Advisor's Department

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Funding Source

MST Energy and Research Development Center

Abstract

Biodiesel has become a subject of great interest in renewable energy technologies, because of the high demand in clean sources of energy that have a much lower environmental impact than conventional energy technologies. A base-catalyzed transesterification was the first technique chosen for biodiesel production given that it is the predominant method for commercial-scale production, due to the low temperatures and pressures required during production. This approach reacts the triglycerides found in animal and plant fats and oils with alcohol and a catalyst to produce biodiesel and glycerol as the byproduct. Methanol and potassium hydroxide were used as the alcohol and catalyst, respectively. After characterizing the biodiesel from different feedstocks, this project will later compare the conversion rate into fuel and product purification, with other biodiesel production techniques such as using other alcohols, catalysts and enzymes.

Biography

Melissa Vidal is an undergraduate researcher for Dr. Joseph D. Smith who is the director of the Energy Research and Development Center in Rolla, Missouri. She is currently a junior pursuing a B.S in Chemical Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology. She joined the Biodiesel team in fall 2013 and was part of the HAZOP session for the overall process of biodiesel production with the BD65 machine. She was in charge of investigating the chemistry and reactions that take place during the base-catalyzed transesterification. She is now investigating for alternatives to this production process as well as on different techniques for product purification with a strong emphasis on glycerol separation.

Research Category

Engineering

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hall

Presentation Date

16 Apr 2014, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Comments

Joint project with Sean Tennyson, Joshua Heath, Alexander Carney

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Apr 16th, 1:00 PM Apr 16th, 3:00 PM

Characterization of Biodiesel Using Various Feedstocks

Upper Atrium/Hall

Biodiesel has become a subject of great interest in renewable energy technologies, because of the high demand in clean sources of energy that have a much lower environmental impact than conventional energy technologies. A base-catalyzed transesterification was the first technique chosen for biodiesel production given that it is the predominant method for commercial-scale production, due to the low temperatures and pressures required during production. This approach reacts the triglycerides found in animal and plant fats and oils with alcohol and a catalyst to produce biodiesel and glycerol as the byproduct. Methanol and potassium hydroxide were used as the alcohol and catalyst, respectively. After characterizing the biodiesel from different feedstocks, this project will later compare the conversion rate into fuel and product purification, with other biodiesel production techniques such as using other alcohols, catalysts and enzymes.