Bio-based fuels are becoming more and more important due to the depleting fossil resources. The production of biodiesel from algae oil is challenging compared to terrestrial vegetable oils, as algae oil consists of polar fatty acids, such as phospholipids and glycolipids, as well as non-polar triglycerides and free fatty acids common in vegetable oils. It is shown that a single sulphonated solid acid catalyst can perform the esterification and transesterification reactions of both polar and non-polar lipids. In mild reaction conditions (60-70 °C) Nafion NR50 catalyst produces methyl palmitate (FAME) from the palmitic acid derivatives of di-, and tri-glyceride, free fatty acid, and phospholipid with over 80% yields, with the glycolipid derivative giving nearly 40% yields of FAME. These results demonstrate how the polar and non-polar lipid derivatives of algal oil can be utilised as feedstocks for biodiesel production with a single catalyst in one reaction step.
- solid acid catalyst
- algal lipid
- polar lipid
Asikainen, M., Munter, T., & Linnekoski, J. (2015). Conversion of polar and non-polar algae oil lipids to fatty acid methyl esters with solid acid catalysts: A model compound study. Bioresource Technology, 191, 300-305. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2015.05.001