The utilization of fossil fuels has stimulated economic perception and environmental considerations including energy crisis: Inorganic Chemistry Research Paper, UPM, Malaysia


Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

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Inorganic Chemistry

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The utilization of fossil fuels has stimulated economic perception and environmental considerations including energy crisis, global warming, air pollution, and skyrocketing, contributing to the need for renewable energy sources. Biomass raw materials are crucial tools in the renewable energy system. According to statistics, the total primary energy supply from biomass resources constitutes almost 70% of all renewable energy sources as of 2016.

Biofuels are the top renewable solutions for the transport sector, especially for heavy transport such as aviation and shipping. Biofuel production has risen more than ten times from the sixteen billion litres in 2000 to one hundred and forty – three billion litres as of 2017. Biofuels can be extracted from organic wastes and diverse bio compounds such as triglycerides. Natural triglycerides extracted from vegetable oils and animal fats have a glycerol backbone with three fatty acid moieties that produce hydrocarbon fuels due to their simple structure and low levels of functionalization.

The two primary catalytic reactions that can change triglycerides into biofuels for diesel engines are; transesterification with methanol to get fatty acid methyl esters and the catalytic deoxygenation process, which produces biodiesel also called green diesel. FAMEs are utilized in the diesel blending with limiting factors such as less compatibility with conventional diesel, low stability in thermal oxidation, and engine complication resulting from C=C and C=O bond residues, hindering their application in the industry.

On the contrary, the biodiesel extracted from the deoxygenated vegetable oil and animal fats possesses more reliable diesel properties, including zero oxygen, high thermal and oxidation stability, and cetane numbers. For instance, palm oil possesses primary C16 and C18 fatty acids, reliable feedstock for biodiesel manufacture via catalytic deoxygenation. The produced biodiesel had high cetane numbers ranging between eighty – five to ninety–nine, fully meeting the compatible standards for conventional diesel fuels.

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