Adsorptive pretreatment of waste cooking oil using quicklime for fatty acid methyl esters synthesis Original scientific paper

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Ivana Lukić
Željka Kesić
Miodrag Zdujić
Dejan Skala


Synthesis of biodiesel from various plant oils is realized by the transesterification of triglycerides with methanol or by a reaction usually defined as methanolysis. The usage of low-quality oils, such as waste cooking oil (WCO), is followed by undesirable side reactions as a result of the increased content of free fatty acids (FFA), and water. The presence of FFA in WCO usually requires a pretreatment stage before subjecting it to methanolysis. In the present work, heterogeneously catalyzed methanolysis of WCO with and without pretreatment was investigated. Removal of FFA from WCO was conducted by using only quicklime or with the addition of a small amount of methanol (FFA to methanol = 1:3 molar ratio). The obtained results showed that pretreatment of WCO with quicklime at 30 °C after 1 h reduces the FFA content by 72 %, while the adsorption capacity was determined to be 910 mg g-1. The adsorptive pretreatment, as a simple operation, using low-cost quicklime under mild conditions, had a positive effect on the transesterification rate with CaO∙ZnO as a catalyst, enabling the achievement of over 96 % of biodiesel yield in only 15 min, compared to 1 h without the pretreatment. Furthermore, pretreated WCO allows an increase in repeated catalyst use and overall savings in the necessary amount of catalyst. The present study showed that quicklime is an economic, environmental-friendly, and sustainable material for FFA removal from WCO.


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Lukić, I., Kesić, Željka ., Zdujić, M., & Skala, D. (2023). Adsorptive pretreatment of waste cooking oil using quicklime for fatty acid methyl esters synthesis: Original scientific paper. HEMIJSKA INDUSTRIJA (Chemical Industry).
Advances in Biodiesel Production Research

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