Biodiesel: A Survey on Production Methods and Catalysts
Biodiesel is a biodegradable biofuel, which is non-toxic and free of sulfur and aromatics. In addition, the CO2 emitted during combustion is absorbed by plants during photosynthesis. It is a substitute for petroleum diesel and can be used without the need for the adaptation of existing engines and presents good lubrication capacity, prolonging the life of the engine and reducing the need for maintenance. The direct use of vegetable oil as biofuel is not applied due to its high viscosity and low volatility; the transesterification appears as the most used method for the production of biodiesel. The reaction of biodiesel production can be carried out with acidic, basic, or enzymatic catalysts, in addition to using homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysts. This chapter lists the different types of catalysts used in current scientific work, along with their advantages and disadvantages.
KeywordsBiofuel Catalytic biodiesel Transesterification Triglycerides
The authors thank FINEP, FAPERJ, and CNPq for financial support.