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Biodiesel production by the methylic-alkaline and ethylic-enzymatic routes: Discussion of some environmental aspects

de Mello, Marcia, Young, André, Villardi, Hugo, Pessoa, Fernando, Salgado, Andrea
Journal of cleaner production 2017 v.144 pp. 347-357
biodiesel, carboxylic ester hydrolases, catalysts, computer software, environmental impact, environmental performance, fuel production, green chemistry, industrial applications, sodium hydroxide, soybeans, transesterification
A comparative environmental impact analysis of the soybean biodiesel production by two different technologies is run in this study. The production routes evaluated were the alkali-catalyzed (catalyst: sodium hydroxide) methylic transesterification and enzyme-catalyzed (catalyst: lipase) ethylic transesterification. The study includes the simulation of the biodiesel production process with the software Aspen HYSYS, from AspenTech Inc., and a subsequent comparative analysis of the main environmental impacts observed in each case, based on the application of two approaches: analysis of the Principles of Green Chemistry and calculation of some sustainability metrics. Results indicated a better environmental performance for the enzymatic route, in almost all the analyzed issues, what proves that this route is an excellent option for future industrial applications, regarding safety and sustainability.