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Used Vegetable Oil to Biodiesel Dilemma

My biodiesel knowledge came into picture just recently. Although I knew this subject has been very hot for the past few years, only now, suddenly I felt the adrenalin to learn more about it.

I knew that biodiesel has already shown some success in US and Europe, both using soy bean and rape seed oil respectively. That's a good sign of our world energy sector. A number of biodiesel plants have been built in the past 5 years, and the number is still growing.

However, what interest me most is the simplicity of converting used cooking oil to methyl ester (Biodiesel). Well, the process seems very simple. I have seen some people easily convert used cooking oil to biodiesel in just one night!! But that's in US and Europe!!! Few days ago, I did have a chat with my wife about this process. I mean about the process of used cooking oil conversion to biodiesel B100. It's actually a very brilliant process. However, i did mention to her about my concern of the feasibility of used cooking palm oil based which is mostly found in my country and surrounding countries. Yes, the process might work for used cooking oil originated from soy and rape seed oil, but how about the one from palm oil?

I was just informed that somebody have tried to convert used cooking palm oil based and failed to get diesel! This really caught my interest as I was just about the accumulate some used cooking oil from my kitchen! Well, i still do not have the details of that particular process, but I'm definitely going to get some details about it. My guess is, some modification in the process need to be done. But what modification? I don't know yet. I need to carry out some kitchen scale experiment in order to have better comprehension on the process. Maybe this palm oil based used cooking oil have some different molecular structure or transfatty acid property which would not easily react and produce biodiesel.

Anybody have any experience or knowledge about this? maybe we can share something...

posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 8:24 PM,


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The Author


I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!

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