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March 29, 2010

Improving Biodiesel Processing

Practical ways to improve the production of biodiesel

Alfred K. Schultz and Robert J. Olsen, The Dow Chemical Co.

Biodiesel, the methyl ester of fatty acids, has been accepted as a renewable-sourced alternative to fossil-derived diesel fuel. Today in many parts of the world, biodiesel is already blended with diesel fuel up to about 5%. Presently the demand for biodiesel is only approximately 40–50% of the production capacity, but the global biodiesel market is expected to experience strong growth in the next few years as the economy rebounds and the demand for renewable resources continues to increase. To further improve the quality of the biodiesel and enhance the position of biodiesel as a viable, cost-effective renewable-energy source, there has been a continued effort to make further technology improvements.

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