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Algal Biofuels Alginato

Algal Biofuels Alginato

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Published by Andreia Correia

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Published by: Andreia Correia on May 28, 2012
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03/24/2014

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The transesterifcation catalysts presented above are
very strong and relatively mature in the feld of biofuel

production. Although very effective and relatively

economical, these catalysts still require purifcation

and removal from the product stream, which increases

the overall costs. One potential solution to this is the
development of immobilized heterogeneous and/
or homogeneous catalysts that are very effcient and
inexpensive (McNeff et al., 2008). Acid and basic catalysts
could be classifed as Brönsted or Lewis catalysts.

However, in many cases, both types of sites could be
present and it is not easy to evaluate the relative importance
of the two types of sites in the overall reaction in terms

of effciency and cost. Lewis acid catalysts, such as

AlCl3

or ZnCl2, have been proven as a viable means of
converting triacylglycerols into fatty acid methyl esters.

et al., 2008). These preliminary results indicate that
microwave processing may be cost-competitive with the
more mature conversion processes currently available.
In addition, catalysts may be used to enhance the
impact of microwave irradiation (Yuan et al., 2008).

In the ultrasonic reactor method, ultrasonic waves cause

the reaction mixture to produce and collapse bubbles

constantly. This cavitation provides simultaneously

the mixing and heating required to carry out the
transesterifcation process (Armenta et al., 2007). Thus

using an ultrasonic reactor for biodiesel production
drastically reduces the reaction time, reaction temperatures,
and energy input (Kalva et al., 2008). Hence the process

of transesterifcation can run inline rather than using the

time-consuming batch process used in traditional base-

catalyzed transesterifcation (Stavarache et al., 2007). It is

estimated that industrial-scale ultrasonic devices can allow
for the processing of several thousand barrels per day, but
will require further innovation to reach production levels

suffcient for massive and scalable biofuel production.

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