Hello dear fellow biofuelers,
I have one theorethical question for chemists among you :). It seams
to me, that there should be a direct chemical conversion route from
oil to fatty acid methyl esters.

(R-COO)-CH2-(R-COO-)CH-CH2-(-COO-R)  + 3H2  ==> 3 R-COO-CH3 

Has anyone of you studied this conversion path? This path seams to
have greater potential for beeing cheaper, because there is no need to
add methanol into the process and there is no waste glycerol; the only
_realy_ hard thing is to find an appropriate catalyst.

But this way you completely eliminate the tedious process of first
splitting the oil into the glycerol and FFA and then combining FFAs
with methanol, to get the final product - fatty acid methyl esters.


Or, perhaps a less radical idea, but achieving the same economy :)
Maybe there is a route to convert your waste glycerol into methanol?

CH2OH-CHOH-CH2OH + 3H2 ==> 3 CH3OH

The hydrogen sorce for both reactions need not to be pure hydrogen,
this might be some other chemical, which gives off hydrogen athoms in
reaction...

So, any ideas on this??




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