(80h) Catalytic Conversion of Tall Oil to Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel

Pathapati, K., University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Dufreche, S., University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Bajpai, R., University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Zappi, M., University of Louisiana at Lafayette

The dependence of petroleum for nearly all of our transportation fuels fosters the importance and demand for renewable, biomass based transportation fuels. Biomass, the only current renewable source of liquid transportation fuel, has great potential to provide renewable energy. Biodiesel and Green Diesel can also be produced from non-conventional, biologically derived feedstock such as tall oil.

Crude tall oil is a by-product of the Kraft Sulfate processing of the softwood for pulp and paper manufacture. Unsaturated C18 fatty acids, resin acids and unsaponifiables make up the principal constituents of the tall oil. Esterification of the tall oil fatty acids using a heterogenous acid catalyst gives Biodiesel whereas catalytic cracking over a catalyst bed gives Green Diesel. Results from catalytic conversion of tall oil to biodiesel and renewable diesel will be shown.