Breakthrough in Biodiesel Process (India)
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) in Hyderabad (India) have discovered a way of using a well-known fungus to “substantially” accelerate the process and thereby reduce the cost of producing biodiesel. The typical process of manufacturing biodiesel involves mixing the ingredients and heating them for hours. The process of heating alters the chemical structure of vegetable oil, making it similar to diesel. Researchers at IICT have discovered an alternative process, which is not only more efficient, but can also be employed at room temperature. This entails passing the vegetable oil—in this case sunflower oil—and methanol through a bed of pellets made from spores of a fungus, Metarhizium anisopliae. An enzyme, lipase, produced by the fungus, acts as the catalyst, replacing the heating process, and makes it possible to manufacture biodiesel with impressive efficiency at room temperature. The process would work with other plant oils, including oil made from jatropha. For further information, contact: Mr. G. SAMPATH KUMAR Head, Business Management Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Uppal Road, Hyderabad - 500 007, AP, INDIA Phone/Fax: 91-40-27193943 E-mail: [email protected]
Sector: Renewable Energy Technologies
Country: India
Area of Application: Biomass energy, biodiesel production
Keywords: Biodiesel
Environmental aspects: Cleaner Production , Energy efficiency
Development Status: Pilot Plant
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Contact Person: UN-ESCAP/APCTT
Address: C-2 Qutab Institutional Area
City: New Delhi
Country: India
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