Characterization and potential application of solid waste generated from biodiesel production process

Lu-Ming Chen, Mei-In M. Chou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Biodiesel is a fuel derived from 100% renewable resources, such as vegetable oil, and is gaining recognition com. as an alternative to the diesel fuel produced from petroleum sources. Biodiesel fuel is produced through a catalytic process called transesterification which includes a purifn. procedure to sep. the final products from contaminants and byproducts. In a typical purifn. process, a clay-based fine powder material is used as an adsorbent, and is added to the pre-purifn. reaction mixt. After agitation or recirculation, the satd. adsorbent is removed by filtration. The filter cake material is the primary solid waste from biodiesel fuel prodn. process and is currently disposed of in landfills. There is a need to find value-added applications for the filter cake to reduce solid waste disposal vol. and cost, and to improve the process economics. Chem. properties of the filter cake solid waste from a local biodiesel fuel company were characterized for their potential application in com. products, such as in fired building bricks. Several trial runs for making fired bricks formulated with 0, 5, 10, and 50 wt.% of the waste material were conducted. The phys. appearance and the engineering properties of the final brick products were examd. The fired bricks produced with up to 10 wt.% of biodiesel waste were successful. They presented sound appearance in color and texture, and their H2O absorption met ASTM std. C 62 specifications for moderate weathering grade. Their compressive strength even met severe weathering grade. Fired brick making appears to be a viable method to use the residues generated after the process. However, further study with optimized formulations, and to include filter cake materials from addnl. sources or using the ashed sample for brick making trials is recommended. on SciFinder(R)]
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management
PublisherWidener University, Dep. of Civil Engineering
ISBN (Print)1091-8043
StatePublished - 2010


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