Synthesis of camelina biodiesel using heterogeneous catalysts

Currently in North America, biodiesel is mainly produced from vegetable oils such as soybean and canola using a homogenous catalyst, KOH or NaOH. Two associated challenges are: 1) using edible oils as feedstock may impact food and feed supply adversely; 2) a great amount of water is needed to wash off the homogeneous catalysts dissolved in biodiesel product and then the waste water effluent is discharged to the environment.
This project will evaluate the feasibility of producing biodiesel from camelina using heterogeneous catalysts. Camelina is a low cost oil crop; however, it has a fairly high oil content. It can grow in marginal lands and exhibits a strong tolerance to drought, cool weather and insect pests. The application of heterogeneous catalysts allows recovery and reuse of catalysts, which would reduce biodiesel production costs and minimize the impact on the environment.

Faculty Supervisor:

Quan (Sophia) He


Jie Yang






Dalhousie University



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