Biodiesel pp 193-217 | Cite as

Exergy-Based Sustainability Analysis of Biodiesel Production and Combustion Processes

  • Mortaza AghbashloEmail author
  • Meisam Tabatabaei
  • Mohammad Ali Rajaeifar
  • Marc A. Rosen
Part of the Biofuel and Biorefinery Technologies book series (BBT, volume 8)


Sustainability has become a relevant issue for the biodiesel industry. As a consequence, increasingly advanced engineering methods and metrics are being applied to make decisions on biodiesel production and combustion systems in order to achieve the most thermodynamically, economically and environmentally sound synthesis pathways and conditions. Among the various approaches developed, exergy-based methods exhibit significant promise for the quantitative and qualitative evaluation of energy conversion and biofuel production processes. Exergy-based analyses provide valuable insights into the performance, costs and environmental impacts of biodiesel production and combustion systems. In this chapter, after briefly describing the exergy concept and its theoretical background, an overview is provided of the most important researches relating to the application of this approach and its extensions for analyzing biodiesel production and combustion systems. In general, quantifying exergy destruction rate and exergy efficiency is the greatest focus of researchers globally when applying exergy method in this domain. However, applications of extended exergy-based methods like exergoeconomic and exergoenvironmental analyses, as comprehensive decision-making paradigms for evaluating, optimizing, and retrofitting biodiesel production and combustion processes, are limited. Future research is needed into finding the most efficient, cost-effective, and environmental-friendly routes for biodiesel synthesis and its subsequent utilization, using exergoeconomic and exergoenvironmental approaches together with advanced knowledge- and evolutionary-based optimization techniques.


Biodiesel production Biodiesel combustion Efficiency Exergy Sustainability 



Ash percentage (%)


Carbon percentage (%)


Specific heat capacity (kJ/kg K)

\(\mathop E\limits^{.}\)

Energy flow rate (kW)


Specific exergy (kJ/kg)

\(\mathop {Ex}\limits^{.}\)

Exergy flow rate (kW)


Gibbs free energy (kJ/mol)


Specific enthalpy (kJ/kg)


Hydrogen percentage (%)

\(\mathop {IP}\limits^{.}\)

Exergetic improvement potential rate (kW)

\(\mathop m\limits^{.}\)

Mass flow rate (kg/s)


Mole number (–)

\(\mathop n\limits^{.}\)

Molar flow rate (mol/s)


Nitrogen percentage (%)


Oxygen percentage (%)


Pressure (kPa)


Lower heating value (kJ/kg)

\(\mathop Q\limits^{.}\)

Heat rate (kW)


Gas constant (kJ/kg K)

\(\mathop R\limits^{ - }\)

Universal gas constant (kJ/mol K)


Specific entropy (kJ/kg K)


Sulfur percentage (%)


Exergetic sustainability index (–)


Temperature (°C or K)


Mole fraction (–)

\(\mathop W\limits^{.}\)

Work flow rate (kW)

Greek Symbols


Chemical exergy factor (–)


Exergy efficiency (%)


Standard chemical exergy (kJ/mol)



Dead state









i, j, k






















The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Iran National Science Foundation (Grant no. 96005466).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mortaza Aghbashlo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Meisam Tabatabaei
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mohammad Ali Rajaeifar
    • 2
  • Marc A. Rosen
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Department of Agricultural Machinery EngineeringUniversity College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of TehranTehranIran
  2. 2.Biofuel Research Team (BRTeam)KarajIran
  3. 3.Microbial Biotechnology DepartmentAgricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO)KarajIran
  4. 4.Faculty of Engineering and Applied ScienceUniversity of Ontario Institute of TechnologyOshawaCanada

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