Improved Heterogeneous Catalyst for the Transesterification of Triglycerides to Biodiesel

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: EPD10035
Agency Tracking Number: B09H1-0381
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 09-NCER-H1
Solicitation Number: PR-NC-09-10319
Solicitation Year: 2010
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2010-03-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2010-08-31
Small Business Information
7610 Eastmark Drive, College Station, TX, 77840-4023
DUNS: 184758308
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Anthony Giletto
 (979) 693-0017
Business Contact
 Anthony Giletto
Phone: (979) 693-0017
Research Institution
There is a finite amount of fossil fuels, which will only last a few more decades. Therefore, it is imperative to develop renewable sources of energy. An area that has recently attracted a lot of attention is the conversion of renewable oils to biodiesel, primarily through the methanolysis of triglycerides. The use of an immobilized lipase as a heterogeneous biocatalyst to transform oils into biodiesel is a very promising approach with many advantages over competing methods. Immobilized lipases, however, catalyze the transesterification reaction at a slower rate than homogeneous catalysis and are sensitive to high concentrations of methanol. Both of these characteristics have limited their industrial implementation. This Phase I SBIR project involves the preparation of a heterogeneous, lipase-based transesterification catalyst that is rapid and stable in the presence of high concentrations of methanol. In Phase I, the catalyst will be prepared and characterized, and its performance to catalyze the transesterification reaction in the presence of an industrially relevant concentration of methanol will be compared to the most promising commercially available biocatalyst. The Phase II research will include the further optimization of the biocatalyst to improve methanol tolerance, catalytic rate, and reusability. In addition, the synthesis and use of the biocatalyst will be scaled up in collaboration with an industrial partner.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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