Biodiesel is a natural and renewable domestic alternative fuel for diesel engines. The current global yield of biodiesel accounts for about 30MM Ton/y (less than 5% of the diesel amount per year). The production is expected to reach around 37MM Ton/y by 2025. Biodiesel’s preference choice as one of the most popular alternative fuels was based on its characteristics as it is environmentally-friendly & sustainable fuel. The biodiesel fuel industry is driven by public demand for a cleaner environment and sustainable energy resources, followed by national and international regulation – especially as cited by the Kyoto protocol. Furthermore, the biodiesel industry has gained worldwide support for reducing dependency on the unstable fossil oil market with its extreme price fluctuations.
Today, most developed countries require transportation fuel to be blended with biodiesel in order to reduce GHG emissions. Chemical catalysts are used in the production of biodiesel. These catalysts have significant environmental and operational drawbacks with substantial impact on cost-effectiveness. Conventional biodiesel processes require the use of high-grade edible feedstocks such as soybean, corn palm & rapeseed oil, thus making a major impact on the global food products markets.
The use of our immobilized enzyme-based catalysts eliminates these drawbacks and allows us to use low-grade, 2nd generation, non-edible oil as feedstock such as UCO, animal fat and brown grease from waste water plants (WTP). WTP must collect and treat greases appropriately before their disposal.
The main technologies in recent years used for the production of biodiesel are chemical methods which are based on either sodium methylate or sulfuric acid, separately or in combination. both catalysts are corrosive, generate toxic wastes, and also non-selective when it comes to the different feedstocks. Therefore, there was a need for a green & inexpensive “biocatalyst” which can convert conventional biodiesel plants from one feedstock plant to become multifunctional plants and which can handle all types of feedstocks, particularly inedible, inexpensive and sustainable oils. TransBiodiesel has introduced such a green technical solution for the production of biodiesel and its technology is protected by six global patents.
The feedstocks used to make biodiesel are from different vegetable oils from around the world, including plant oils, animal fats and recycled oils and greases. In particularly, our novel immobilized enzymes possess esterification and transesterification activity, therefore, feedstocks regardless of the free fatty acid (FFAs) content, the enzymes recognize both the free fatty acids and the oil glycerides as feedstocks and convert them to biodiesel via esterification and transesterification, respectively.