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Techno-economic analysis of processes for biodiesel production with integrated co-production of higher added value products from glycerol

Lookup NU author(s): Luma Al-Saadi, Dr Valentine Eze, Professor Adam Harvey



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2020, © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.A techno-economic analysis was conducted to compare 3 different processes for biodiesel production: (i) the conventional base-catalysed process (NaOH) (ii) a reactive coupling process to form glycerol carbonate (GLC) as a co-product in situ (iii) a reactive coupling to form solketal as a co-product in situ. The processes were simulated at rapeseed oil feed of 100,000 t/y. The capital investment and energy consumption of biodiesel production with associated GLC formation were found to be lower than that for the conventional process. The GLC process required $7.63 M capital investment and 2.2 MW per annum. The conventional process required $8.75 M capital investment and 5.4 MW per annum. Solketal production, however, was more capital-intensive, with $12.87 M capital investment and 25.8 MW. The 20-year net present values (NPVs) for the three biodiesel processes were: $65 M for the conventional alkali-biodiesel process, $128 M for solketal co-production and $631 M for GLC co-production. Clearly, the conversion of glycerol into higher added value species in situ can significantly increase the profitability of biodiesel production, particularly for glycerol carbonate formation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Al-Saadi LS, Eze VC, Harvey AP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biofuels

Year: 2022

Volume: 13

Issue: 4

Pages: 489-496

Online publication date: 19/05/2020

Acceptance date: 06/05/2020

Date deposited: 14/07/2020

ISSN (print): 1759-7269

ISSN (electronic): 1759-7277

Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd.


DOI: 10.1080/17597269.2020.1767495


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