Description: Biodiesel is a renewable fuel conventionally generated from vegetable oils and animal fats that conforms to ASTM D6751. Depending on the free fatty acid content of the feedstock, biodiesel is produced via transesterification, esterification, or a combination of these processes. Currently the cost of the feedstock accounts for more than 80% of biodiesel production cost. The main goal of this project was to evaluate and develop non-conventional feedstocks and novel processes for producing biodiesel. One of the most novel and promising feedstocks evaluated involves the use of readily available microorganisms as a lipid source. Municipal wastewater treatment facilities (MWWTF) in the USA produce (dry basis) of microbial sludge annually. This sludge is composed of a variety of organisms, which consume organic matter in wastewater. The content of phospholipids in these cells have been estimated at 24% to 25% of dry mass. Since phospholipids can be transesterified they could serve as a ready source of biodiesel. Examination of the various transesterification methods shows that in situ conversion of lipids to FAMEs provides the highest overall yield of biodiesel. If one assumes a 7.0% overall yield of FAMEs from dry sewage sludge on a weight basis, the cost per gallon of extracted lipid would be $3.11. Since the lipid is converted to FAMEs, also known as biodiesel, in the in Situ extraction process, the product can be used as is for renewable fuel. As transesterification efficiency increases the cost per gallon drops quickly, hitting $2.01 at 15.0% overall yield. An overall yield of 10.0% is required to obtain biodiesel at $2.50 per gallon, allowing it to compete with soybean oil in the marketplace. Twelve plant species with potential for oil production were tested at Mississippi State, MS. Of the species tested, canola, rapeseed and birdseed rape appear to have potential in Mississippi ...
Date: March 20, 2008
Creator: Hernandez, Rafael; French, Todd; Fernando, Sandun; Li, Tingyu; Braasch, Dwane; Silva, Juan et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department