Author(s): Lam MK, Lee KT, Mohamed AR
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Abstract In the last few years, biodiesel has emerged as one of the most potential renewable energy to replace current petrol-derived diesel. It is a renewable, biodegradable and non-toxic fuel which can be easily produced through transesterification reaction. However, current commercial usage of refined vegetable oils for biodiesel production is impractical and uneconomical due to high feedstock cost and priority as food resources. Low-grade oil, typically waste cooking oil can be a better alternative; however, the high free fatty acids (FFA) content in waste cooking oil has become the main drawback for this potential feedstock. Therefore, this review paper is aimed to give an overview on the current status of biodiesel production and the potential of waste cooking oil as an alternative feedstock. Advantages and limitations of using homogeneous, heterogeneous and enzymatic transesterification on oil with high FFA (mostly waste cooking oil) are discussed in detail. It was found that using heterogeneous acid catalyst and enzyme are the best option to produce biodiesel from oil with high FFA as compared to the current commercial homogeneous base-catalyzed process. However, these heterogeneous acid and enzyme catalyze system still suffers from serious mass transfer limitation problems and therefore are not favorable for industrial application. Nevertheless, towards the end of this review paper, a few latest technological developments that have the potential to overcome the mass transfer limitation problem such as oscillatory flow reactor (OFR), ultrasonication, microwave reactor and co-solvent are reviewed. With proper research focus and development, waste cooking oil can indeed become the next ideal feedstock for biodiesel.
This article was published in Biotechnol Adv
and referenced in Brain Disorders & Therapy