Chemical Conversion in Biodiesel Refinery

  • Saira Asif
  • Mushtaq AhmadEmail author
  • Awais Bokhari
  • Chuah Lai Fatt
  • Muhammad Zafar
  • Shazia Sultana
  • Sehrosh Mir
Part of the Biofuel and Biorefinery Technologies book series (BBT, volume 10)


Biodiesel is produced generally from a wide range of edible and nonedible vegetable oil, animal fats, and frying and waste cooking oils. Use of edible oil for biodiesel production has recently been of great concern because they compete with food security. Prime concern is given to exploration of nonedible seed oil for production of sustainable bioenergy as potential feedstock. Main constraint to the commercialization of sustainable bioenergy is the cost of the raw material. High values of edible value make the production of biodiesel very cost-effective. To overcome this problem, explorations of novel nonedible, inexpensive low-grade seed oil are of supreme importance to make biodiesel economical and sustainable. Microwave heating is used for the homogenization of reactants (Salvadora alii oil and methanol) in a transesterification reaction for chemical conversion to biodiesel biorefinery. Salvadora alii oil is utilized as a nonedible raw material with lower acid value. The calcined calcium oxide was used as heterogeneous catalyst. The parametric study was conducted to determine the optimum process values. The methanol to oil ratio of 6:1, catalyst amount of 3.0 wt%, reaction time of 8 min and microwave power of 400 W was found to be optimum conditions. Reaction kinetics was studied and it follows pseudo-first-order process with an activation energy of 55.2 kJ/mol. The microwave heating reduced the reaction up to 3.75–11.25 folds as compared to other intensification and conventional biodiesel methyl ester production process. Hence, microwave heating is concluded to be energy efficient and time saving for the biodiesel biorefinery chemical conversion.


Biodiesel biorefinery Biofuels Biomass conversion Chemical conversion Nonedible oil 



The author(s) would like to thank Biomass Processing Lab of Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, and Marine Department of Malaysia for providing research funding and lab facilities.


  1. Abdullah SHYS, Hanapi NHM, Azid A, Umar R, Juahir H, Khatoon H, Endut A (2017) A review of biomass-derived heterogeneous catalyst for a sustainable biodiesel production. Renew Sust Energ Rev 70:1040–1051. Scholar
  2. Achten WMJ, Verchot L, Franken YJ, Mathijs E, Singh VP, Aerts R, Muys B (2008) Jatropha bio-diesel production and use. Biomass Bioenerg 32:1063–1084. Scholar
  3. Adewale P, Vithanage LN, Christopher L (2017) Optimization of enzyme-catalyzed biodiesel production from crude tall oil using Taguchi method. Energ Convers Manage 154:81–91. Scholar
  4. Ahmad J, Yusup S, Bokhari A, Kamil RNM (2014) Study of fuel properties of rubber seed oil based biodiesel. Energ Convers Manage 78:266–275. Scholar
  5. Ambat I, Srivastava V, Sillanpää M (2018) Recent advancement in biodiesel production methodologies using various feedstock: a review. Renew Sust Energ Rev 90:356–369. Scholar
  6. Ani FMaFN (2011) The production of biodiesel from waste cooking oil using microwave irradiation. J Mekanikal 32:61–72Google Scholar
  7. Asif S, Ahmad M, Bokhari A, Chuah LF, Klemeš JJ, Akbar MM, Sultana S, Yusup S (2017a) Methyl ester synthesis of Pistacia khinjuk seed oil by ultrasonic-assisted cavitation system. Ind Crop Prod 108:336–347. Scholar
  8. Asif S, Chuah LF, Klemeš JJ, Ahmad M, Akbar MM, Lee KT, Fatima A (2017b) Cleaner production of methyl ester from non-edible feedstock by ultrasonic-assisted cavitation system. J Clean Prod 161:1360–1373. Scholar
  9. Atabani AE, Silitonga AS, Ong HC, Mahlia TMI, Masjuki HH, Badruddin IA, Fayaz H (2013) Non-edible vegetable oils: a critical evaluation of oil extraction, fatty acid compositions, biodiesel production, characteristics, engine performance and emissions production. Renew Sust Energ Rev 18:211–245. Scholar
  10. Atadashi IM, Aroua MK, Abdul Aziz AR, Sulaiman NMN (2013) The effects of catalysts in biodiesel production: a review. J Ind Eng Chem 19:14–26. Scholar
  11. Bokhari A, Yusup S, Ahmad MM (2012) Optimization of the parameters that affects the solvent extraction of crude rubber seed oil using response surface methodology (RSM). Rec Adv Eng 28–33Google Scholar
  12. Bokhari A, Chuah LF, Yusup S, Ahmad J, Shamsuddin MR, Teng MK (2015) Microwave-assisted methyl esters synthesis of Kapok (Ceiba pentandra) seed oil: parametric and optimization study. Biofuel Res J 2:281–287. Scholar
  13. Bokhari A, Chuah LF, Yusup S, Klemeš JJ, Akbar MM, Kamil RNM (2016) Cleaner production of rubber seed oil methyl ester using a hydrodynamic cavitation: optimisation and parametric study. J Clean Prod 136:31–41. Scholar
  14. Cheah KW, Yusup S, Chuah LF, Bokhari A (2016) Physio-chemical studies of locally sourced non-edible oil: prospective feedstock for renewable diesel production in Malaysia. Proc Eng 148:451–458. Scholar
  15. Chen K-S, Lin Y-C, Hsu K-H, Wang H-K (2012) Improving biodiesel yields from waste cooking oil by using sodium methoxide and a microwave heating system. Energy 38:151–156. Scholar
  16. Chuah LF, Aziz ARA, Yusup S, Bokhari A, Klemeš JJ, Abdullah MZ (2015) Performance and emission of diesel engine fuelled by waste cooking oil methyl ester derived from palm olein using hydrodynamic cavitation. Clean Tech Environ Policy 17:2229–2241. Scholar
  17. Chuah LF, Bokhari A, Yusup S, Klemeš JJ, Akbar MM, Saminathan S (2017a) Optimisation on pretreatment of kapok seed (Ceiba pentandra) oil via esterification reaction in an ultrasonic cavitation reactor. Biomass Conver Bioref 7:91–99. Scholar
  18. Chuah LF, Klemeš JJ, Yusup S, Bokhari A, Akbar MM (2017b) Influence of fatty acids in waste cooking oil for cleaner biodiesel. Clean Technol Environ Policy 19:859–868. Scholar
  19. Chuah LF, Klemeš JJ, Yusup S, Bokhari A, Akbar MM (2017c) A review of cleaner intensification technologies in biodiesel production. J Clean Prod 146:181–193. Scholar
  20. Chueluecha N, Kaewchada A, Jaree A (2017) Biodiesel synthesis using heterogeneous catalyst in a packed-microchannel. Energ Conver Manag 141:145–154. Scholar
  21. Ding H, Ye W, Wang Y, Wang X, Li L, Liu D, Gui J, Song C, Ji N (2018) Process intensification of transesterification for biodiesel production from palm oil: microwave irradiation on transesterification reaction catalyzed by acidic imidazolium ionic liquids. Energy 144:957–967. Scholar
  22. García Prieto CV, Ramos FD, Estrada V, Villar MA, Diaz MS (2017) Optimization of an integrated algae-based biorefinery for the production of biodiesel, astaxanthin and PHB. Energy 139:1159–1172. Scholar
  23. Gupta AR, Rathod VK (2018) Calcium diglyceroxide catalyzed biodiesel production from waste cooking oil in the presence of microwave: optimization and kinetic studies. Renew Energ 121:757–767. Scholar
  24. Hajjari M, Tabatabaei M, Aghbashlo M, Ghanavati H (2017) A review on the prospects of sustainable biodiesel production: a global scenario with an emphasis on waste-oil biodiesel utilization. Renew Sust Energ Rev 72:445–464. Scholar
  25. Issariyakul T, Dalai AK (2014) Biodiesel from vegetable oils. Renew Sust Energ Rev 31:446–471. Scholar
  26. Jamil F, AaH Al-Muhtaseb, Al-Haj L, Al-Hinai MA, Hellier P, Rashid U (2016) Optimization of oil extraction from waste “Date pits” for biodiesel production. Energ Convers Manag 117:264–272. Scholar
  27. Jermolovicius LA, Cantagesso LCM, do Nascimento RB, de Castro ER, dos S Pouzada EV, Senise JT (2017) Microwave fast-tracking biodiesel production. Chem Eng Process 122:380–388.
  28. Kelloway A, Daoutidis P (2014) Process synthesis of biorefineries: optimization of biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals. Ind Eng Chem Res 53:5261–5273. Scholar
  29. Khan TMY, Atabani AE, Badruddin IA, Badarudin A, Khayoon MS, Triwahyono S (2014) Recent scenario and technologies to utilize non-edible oils for biodiesel production. Renew Sust Energ Rev 37:840–851. Scholar
  30. Kouzu M, Kasuno T, Tajika M, Sugimoto Y, Yamanaka S, Hidaka J (2008) Calcium oxide as a solid base catalyst for transesterification of soybean oil and its application to biodiesel production. Fuel 87:2798–2806. Scholar
  31. Kumar A, Sharma S (2011) Potential non-edible oil resources as biodiesel feedstock: an Indian perspective. Renew Sust Energ Rev 15:1791–1800. Scholar
  32. Mahamuni NN, Adewuyi YG (2010) Application of Taguchi method to investigate the effects of process parameters on the transesterification of soybean oil using high frequency ultrasound. Energ Fuel 24:2120–2126. Scholar
  33. Mardhiah HH, Ong HC, Masjuki HH, Lim S, Lee HV (2017) A review on latest developments and future prospects of heterogeneous catalyst in biodiesel production from non-edible oils. Renew Sust Energ Rev 67:1225–1236. Scholar
  34. Nayebzadeh H, Saghatoleslami N, Haghighi M, Tabasizadeh M, Binaeian E (2018) Comparative assessment of the ability of a microwave absorber nanocatalyst in the microwave-assisted biodiesel production process. Comptes Rendus Chimie 21:676–683. Scholar
  35. Noshadi I, Amin NAS, Parnas RS (2012) Continuous production of biodiesel from waste cooking oil in a reactive distillation column catalyzed by solid heteropolyacid: optimization using response surface methodology (RSM). Fuel 94:156–164. Scholar
  36. Pan H, Li H, Zhang H, Wang A, Jin D, Yang S (2018) Effective production of biodiesel from non-edible oil using facile synthesis of imidazolium salts-based Brønsted-Lewis solid acid and co-solvent. Energ Conver Manag 166:534–544. Scholar
  37. Papilo P, Marimin Hambali E, Sitanggang IS (2018) Sustainability index assessment of palm oil-based bioenergy in Indonesia. J Clean Prod 196:808–820. Scholar
  38. Parangi T, Wani B, Chudasama U (2013) Synthesis of monoesters and diesters using eco-friendly solid acid catalysts—Cerium(IV) and thorium(IV) phosphates. Appl Catal A 467:430–438. Scholar
  39. Pleşu V, Subirana Puigcasas J, Benet Surroca G, Bonet J, Bonet Ruiz AE, Tuluc A, Llorens J (2015) Process intensification in biodiesel production with energy reduction by pinch analysis. Energy 79:273–287. Scholar
  40. Putra MD, Irawan C, Udiantoro Ristianingsih Y, Nata IF (2018) A cleaner process for biodiesel production from waste cooking oil using waste materials as a heterogeneous catalyst and its kinetic study. J Clean Prod 195:1249–1258. Scholar
  41. Reyero I, Arzamendi G, Gandía LM (2014) Heterogenization of the biodiesel synthesis catalysis: CaO and novel calcium compounds as transesterification catalysts. Chem Eng Res Des 92:1519–1530. Scholar
  42. Rozina AS, Ahmad M, Zafar M, Ali N (2017) Prospects and potential of fatty acid methyl esters of some non-edible seed oils for use as biodiesel in Pakistan. Renew Sust Energ Rev 74:687–702. Scholar
  43. Sadia H, Ahmad M, Zafar M, Sultana S, Azam A, Khan MA (2013) Variables effecting the optimization of non edible wild safflower oil biodiesel using alkali catalyzed transesterification. Inter J Green Energ 10:53–62. Scholar
  44. Sahar SS, Iqbal J, Ullah I, Bhatti HN, Nouren S, Habibur R, Nisar J, Iqbal M (2018) Biodiesel production from waste cooking oil: an efficient technique to convert waste into biodiesel. Sustain Cities Soc 41:220–226. Scholar
  45. Sajjadi B, Raman AAA, Arandiyan H (2016) A comprehensive review on properties of edible and non-edible vegetable oil-based biodiesel: composition, specifications and prediction models. Renew Sust Energ Rev 63:62–92. Scholar
  46. Sarve A, Sonawane SS, Varma MN (2015) Ultrasound assisted biodiesel production from sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) oil using barium hydroxide as a heterogeneous catalyst: comparative assessment of prediction abilities between response surface methodology (RSM) and artificial neural network (ANN). Ultrason Sonochem 26:218–228. Scholar
  47. Shahbaz M, Taqvi SA, Minh Loy AC, Inayat A, Uddin F, Bokhari A, Naqvi SR (2019) Artificial neural network approach for the steam gasification of palm oil waste using bottom ash and CaO. Renew Energ 132:243–254. Scholar
  48. Sirisomboonchai S, Abuduwayiti M, Guan G, Samart C, Abliz S, Hao X, Kusakabe K, Abudula A (2015) Biodiesel production from waste cooking oil using calcined scallop shell as catalyst. Energ Conver Manag 95:242–247. Scholar
  49. Soltani S, Rashid U, Al-Resayes SI, Nehdi IA (2017) Recent progress in synthesis and surface functionalization of mesoporous acidic heterogeneous catalysts for esterification of free fatty acid feedstocks: a review. Energ Conver Manag 141:183–205. Scholar
  50. Subramanian KA, Singal SK, Saxena M, Singhal S (2005) Utilization of liquid biofuels in automotive diesel engines: an Indian perspective. Biomass Bioenerg 29:65–72. Scholar
  51. Suresh M, Jawahar CP, Richard A (2018) A review on biodiesel production, combustion, performance, and emission characteristics of non-edible oils in variable compression ratio diesel engine using biodiesel and its blends. Renew Sust Energ Rev 92:38–49. Scholar
  52. Tang Z-E, Lim S, Pang Y-L, Ong H-C, Lee K-T (2018) Synthesis of biomass as heterogeneous catalyst for application in biodiesel production: state of the art and fundamental review. Renew Sust Energ Rev 92:235–253. Scholar
  53. Teo SH, Rashid U, Thomas Choong SY, Taufiq-Yap YH (2017) Heterogeneous calcium-based bimetallic oxide catalyzed transesterification of Elaeis guineensis derived triglycerides for biodiesel production. Energ Convers Manag 141:20–27. Scholar
  54. Tobar M, Núñez GA (2018) Supercritical transesterification of microalgae triglycerides for biodiesel production: effect of alcohol type and co-solvent. J Super Fluid 137:50–56. Scholar
  55. Tshizanga N, Aransiola EF, Oyekola O (2017) Optimisation of biodiesel production from waste vegetable oil and eggshell ash. South African J Chem Eng 23:145–156. Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saira Asif
    • 1
  • Mushtaq Ahmad
    • 2
    Email author
  • Awais Bokhari
    • 3
  • Chuah Lai Fatt
    • 4
  • Muhammad Zafar
    • 2
  • Shazia Sultana
    • 2
  • Sehrosh Mir
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyPMAS Arid Agriculture UniversityRawalpindiPakistan
  2. 2.Biodiesel Lab, Department of Plant SciencesQuaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  3. 3.Department of Chemical Engineering, Biomass Conversion Research Center (BCRC)COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI)LahorePakistan
  4. 4.Marine Department Malaysia Northern RegionGelugor, PenangMalaysia

Personalised recommendations