A five-year effort to develop a lower-cost source of biodiesel has led Wake Forest University chemists in the direction of a sugar-based compound to accomplish their goal.
Biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning fuel that also reduces tailpipe emissions. It depends primarily on feedstock crops.
The researchers’ work will appear in an edition of the journal Bioresource Technology.
Analysts say there has been plenty of competition and methodologies for producing a lower-cost catalyst for biodiesel, but little sustainable, cost-effective success.
The most commonly used raw material for biodiesel is soybean oil. But its high cost has stifled major production efforts. Also, low-quality oils contain a high percent of free fatty acids that can impede biodiesel production.