Applications of Highly Cross Linked Mixed Bed Ion Exchange Resins in Biodiesel Processing
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Biofuels are a promising solution to society's quest for sustainable energy. In the transportation sector, biodiesel is the leading alternative diesel fuel currently in use today. However, the current global and domestic production of biodiesel is far below the petro-diesel consumption and demand. To increase the availability of biodiesel in the market, new methods of biodiesel production must be developed to take advantage of the plentiful low quality waste derived feed stocks that currently present problems to biodiesel production using conventional methods. This research presents one new approach based upon using heterogeneous highly cross linked mixed bed solid phase catalysts to facilitate the production of biodiesel from feed stocks with high concentrations of free fatty acids (FFA). The performance of the heterogeneous mixed bed catalysts method developed in this research was evaluated and optimized for catalyst concentration and reaction duration while the mixing rate, reaction temperature, initial FFA composition of the feed stock and the alcohol-to-oil molar ratio were kept constant. The presented method reduces the FFA content of the starting feed stock while limiting the release of water into the reaction. Through experimentation, it was found that FFA removal with the mixed bed resin is due to ion exchange with the quaternary ammonium functional group and not catalysis to form esters. A model describing the heterogeneous processing method is presented. The outcome of this research is the development of a new processing method that can be used to create biodiesel from poor quality raw feed stock materials.
Jamal, Yousuf (2009). Applications of Highly Cross Linked Mixed Bed Ion Exchange Resins in Biodiesel Processing. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from