Catalytic Research
Improving the Properties and Sustainability of Tallow Derived Biodiesel
2011 - 13


This project was funded by the EPSRC as a  Knowledge Transfer Partnership  between the UoM and Argent Energy UK, and was concerned with the development of novel heterogeneous catalysis routes to improve the viability and usability of bio-derived diesel currently produced by Argent Energy from tallow, cooking oils and rendered meat.


One of the fundamental concerns with biodiesel is the cold-flow behaviour, with Tallow derived diesel suffering from very poor cold flow characteristics. The results in the biodiesel being most commonly used as blends of up to 7 per cent biodiesel to 93 per cent mineral diesel, however the proposed catalytic routes will facilitate the usage of biodiesel in higher proportions as a result of the enhanced processing.


The work will focus on the initial lab-scale catalytic reaction processes, identifying suitable catalytic methodologies and procedures and assessing their impact on the cold-flow properties of the tallow-derived bio-diesel. Once suitable methodologies have been established, additional work will focus on refining of the processes with the overall goal being the production of tallow-derived diesel having similar characteristics to that of mineral (petroleum-based) diesel.


It is intended that this KTA would form the basis of an enhanced funding application intended to expand upon the data obtained from batch-type processes and enable the subsequent development of continuous-flow type reactors to further enhance the production and improve the economic viability and enhance the sustainability of the process.