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Economic evaluation and production process simulation of biodiesel production from waste cooking oil

Lookup NU author(s): Abdullahi Adamu, Dr Zongyuan ZhuORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Waste cooking oil (WCO) is a promising feedstock for producing biodiesel, which plays a significant role in waste resource reusing and renewable energy production. It is known that cost is the main factor restricting the large-scale production of biodiesel. Therefore, the Life Cycle Cost (LCC) method was used to analyze the economic feasibility of the biodiesel production process from WCO. Our results show that the cost of producing 1 ​t of WCO biodiesel is 6291.56 RMB, which is 65.28% higher than the cost of diesel. The factors influencing WCO biodiesel production cost was further analyzed. Although WCO has a low commercial price, necessary pretreatment is inevitable and creates additional processing cost, since WCO cannot be directly used for transesterification to produce biodiesel. The cost of pretreatment process is relatively high, accounting for 15.60% of the total cost. Special waste management policy should be implemented and waste cooking oil recycling technology should be advanced, in order to make WCO biodiesel more economically competitive. Aspen Plus software was used to simulate the production process of biodiesel from WCO, and the production process was simulated by a two-step method. The practicability of simulation was confirmed by purity of biodiesel reaching 99.6 ​wt%. In the simulation, processing parameters of methanol rectification tower and biodiesel rectification tower were optimized to provide a reliable benchmark for the industrial biodiesel production from WCO.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Liu YB, Yang XL, Adamu A, Zhu ZY

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Current Research in Green and Sustainable Chemistry

Year: 2021

Volume: 4

Print publication date: 08/04/2018

Online publication date: 08/04/2021

Acceptance date: 03/04/2021

Date deposited: 27/05/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2666-0865

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/j.crgsc.2021.100091


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