Low-Cost Biodiesel Production Process Using Meat-Rendering Wastes, Recycled Greases and Unrefined Vegetable Oil Feedstocks

EPA Contract Number: EPD07058
Title: Low-Cost Biodiesel Production Process Using Meat-Rendering Wastes, Recycled Greases and Unrefined Vegetable Oil Feedstocks
Investigators: Elliott, Brian E
Small Business: TDA Research Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2007 through August 31, 2007
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2007) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Agriculture and Rural Community Improvement , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Biodiesel is a fuel made by processing vegetable oil or animal fats into a liquid fuel that can be combusted in a standard diesel engine with no modifications. Biodiesel is made from renewable feedstocks, does not contribute to global warming, and can be made from domestically produced agricultural products. Growth of the biodiesel industry has decelerated, however, because the current production processes require a highly refined (expensive) low free fatty acid vegetable oil

This proposed Small Business Innovation Research project will develop, test, and evaluate a new process for producing biodiesel from much less expensive high free fatty acid vegetable oil and animal fat feedstocks. The new process will promote increased use of biodiesel by reducing the cost of the fuel. Additionally, the new process will be more energy efficient and will not produce aqueous waste like the current process. The Life Cycle Analysis indicates that in addition to the environmental benefits of using the biodiesel fuel, the new production process has less impact on the environment than the existing biodiesel production process.

The anticipated results of the Phase I project include the performance data (reaction kinetics and yields) for the new biodiesel process and an engineering and economic feasibility study. The profitability of the overall process will be determined based on the feedstock costs, process yields, equipment costs, operating costs and biodiesel price. Phase I will culminate in a detailed analysis that will be used to justify a Phase II effort. The commercial application is a new chemical production process for producing low-cost biodiesel. The main innovation of the product is the ability to use a much less expensive feedstock. The United States produced 75 million gallons of biodiesel in 2005, and the United States Department of Agriculture estimates that market in 2010 will be at least 400 million gallons. This market, however, will be even larger if the price of biodiesel is reduced and there are enough oil seed crops, animal fats, and waste greases to support a domestic biodiesel industry of over one billion gallons per year.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, biodiesel production, biodiesel fuels, recycled greases, unrefined vegetable oil feedstocks,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, waste to fuel conversion, renewable feedstocks, environmental sustainability, agricultural byproducts, vegetable oil extraction, alternative fuel, biodiesel fuel

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final