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The Warsaw Voice » Other » July 1, 2009
Energy
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Renewable Fuel from Plant Oils
July 1, 2009   
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Researchers in the western city of Poznań have developed a new method to obtain renewable fuel from plant oils. They have shown the technology at an innovation fair in Paris and won a silver medal-not least because the fuel is already in production.

The new method is the result of a joint project by two research centers, the Industrial Institute of Agricultural Engineering (PIMR) in Poznań and the Poznań University of Technology's Institute of Chemical Technology and Engineering. The method was developed by a team led by Ireneusz Miesi±c, D.Sc., from the Poznań University of Technology and Paweł Fr±ckowiak, M.Sc., from the Industrial Institute of Agricultural Engineering.

The researchers say the method is based on "the transesterification of triglycerides with alcohol in low temperature and in the presence of an alkaline catalyst." According to the researchers, the method "ensures high alcoholysis kinetics and restricts side reactions, as it blocks the catalyst as soon as a satisfactory level of transesterification is achieved. The fuel obtained in this way is characterized by a low content of free fatty acids, higher production efficiency of fatty-acid methyl esters and a shortened period of phase separation in the sedimentation of alcoholysis products. Thanks to this technology, the fuel meets the EN 12214 standard, especially in terms of mono-, di- and triglyceride content."

The technology has found application at the Promar plant in Poznań, which produces engine fuel from plant oils.

Ewa Dereń
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