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Sustainable Biodiesel Production
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1  Mississippi State University

Abstract: Current biodiesel technologies are not sustainable as they require government subsidies to be profitable by the producers and to be affordable by the public. This is mainly due to: 1) high feedstock cost and, 2) energy intensive process steps involved in their production. Sustainable biodiesel production needs to consider: a) utilizing low cost feedstock; b) utilizing energy-efficient, non-conventional heating and mixing technologies; c) increase net energy benefit of the process; and 4) utilize renewable raw material/energy sources. In order to reduce production costs and make it competitive with petroleum diesel, low cost feedstock, such as non- edible oils and waste frying oils could be used as raw materials. Net energy benefit can be increased by using high oil yielding renewable feedstock such as algae. Additionally, application of energy efficient non-conventional technologies such as ultrasonics and microwaves may reduce the energy footprint of the overall biodiesel production as shown in Figure 1. This presentation provides a perspective on sustainable biodiesel production using waste cooking oils, non-edible oils and algae as feedstock. Process optimization using novel heating and mixing techniques, net energy scenarios for different feedstock from sustainability view of the biodiesel production technologies will be discussed.
Keywords: Biodiesel, sustainability, feedstock, algae, waste cooking oils, novel methods