Production of biodiesel from waste vegetable oil

  • Jeffery Bess
  • Jacob Griffin
  • Trevor Hayes
  • Igbax Saanyol


Production of biodiesel from waste vegetable oil is an economical and environmentally benign option to use as an alternative energy source and reuse of waste vegetable oil. The main objectives of this project are to reduce the processing time, increasing the yield and the decrease the amount of catalyst for the separation of the biodiesel from the glycine. In previous work, it was found that ultrasonic processing used in biodiesel production delivers a biodiesel in excess of 95%. While reducing the amount of catalyst required by more than 50% due to the increased chemical activity in the presence of cavitation. Also, it was found in lab experiments that utilizing high voltage would reduce the biodiesel/glycerin separation time considerably. In order to automate this process, this team is building a small automated biodiesel processing unit equipped with ultrasonic processing unit and high voltage unit. The whole process sequences and minimizing human involvement during the process, a Raspberry Pi 3 because of the relative cheap cost of its automation. The design set up has 4 storage tanks, 4 pumps and sets of four flow regulators. The mix ratio used in this experiment was 4:1 to produce Biodiesel with a density of 1.26 g/cm3 and Glycerin with a density of 0.8746g/ cm3. Reaction test 27/3 and ASTM D6584 standards were the basis for this research. A 93% Yield was achieved which translates to 4.3 gallons of glycerin and 57 gallons of biodiesel.

Engineering-Manufacturing and Engineering Technology