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Acid Value, Polar Compounds and Polymers as Determinants of the Efficient Conversion of Waste Frying Oils to Biodiesel

Vieitez, Ignacio, Callejas, Nicolas, Irigaray, Bruno, Pinchak, Yenny, Merlinski, Natalie, Jachmanián, Iván, Grompone, Maria A.
The journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society 2014 v.91 no.4 pp. 655-664
acid value, aeration, biodiesel, catalytic activity, frying oil, hydrolysis, mixing, oxidation, polar compounds, polymers, prices, temperature, transesterification
The cost of starting materials for the production of biodiesel is typically 75 % of the final retail price. Oils previously used for frying, waste frying oils (WFO), are a very suitable resource. Repetitive use of oil for frying foods involves high temperature, moisture and aeration for extended periods. The most important deterioration processes triggered by these conditions are hydrolysis and oxidation. In this study, 24 WFO samples of different origins were analyzed and classified as potential starting materials for biodiesel production using three quality parameters representing the main factors that affect the conversion of WFO. These parameters were: acid value, content of polar compounds and content of polymers, which varied in the ranges from 0.2 to 7.6, 14.9 to 43.2 and 0.9 to 15.2 %, respectively. Ester content obtained using conventional transesterification (TE) for WFO conversion decreased with increased levels of WFO deterioration determined by any of the three parameters noted above. TE products obtained had ester content between 81.4 and 95.7 %. Total ester content of a WFO sample with relatively low %AV could be increased to 96.5 % using a two-stage base catalysis TE. Finally, conversion of WFO samples resulted in ester contents of 89.0 and 91.3 %, respectively, when transesterified by conventional TE. After blending up to 10 % with refined oil, the ester content achieved was near 96.5 %. Thus, the blending represents an alternative for obtaining a product with suitable ester content.