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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(9), 869; doi:10.3390/app7090869

Assessment of Sustainability Indicators for Biodiesel Production

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS 39759, USA
Environmental Laboratory, Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS 39180, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 20 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Energy)
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Biodiesel production may provide a sustainable route to reduce environmental pollution caused by fossil fuel consumption. In order to minimize environmental impacts of biodiesel production, the chemical process should be optimized to minimize waste generation and energy consumption. Therefore, it is important to design biodiesel chemical reactions and processes using green chemistry and green engineering principles to develop sustainable chemical processes. This study provides the results of the synergistic effect of microwave and ultrasound irradiations to produce biodiesel using ethanol or methanol as the alcohol donor. The biodiesel yields are presented along with their respective green metrics, such as atom economy, environmental factor (E-factor), atom economy (utilization) or atomic efficiency, mass intensity, reaction mass efficiency, atom utilization, and stoichiometric factor. These green metrics are crucial to determine the sustainability and environmental impact of biodiesel production. Evaluation of these green metrics indicates that methanol is a better alternative for biodiesel production provided it is derived from renewable sources. Sustainability indicator concepts used for biodiesel production in this study can be applied to various biofuels and other chemical reaction designs, synthesis and process development. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiesel; green chemistry; microwave; ultrasound; green metrics; atom economy; environmental factor (E-factor); mass intensity; reaction mass efficiency; stoichiometric factor biodiesel; green chemistry; microwave; ultrasound; green metrics; atom economy; environmental factor (E-factor); mass intensity; reaction mass efficiency; stoichiometric factor

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Martinez-Guerra, E.; Gude, V.G. Assessment of Sustainability Indicators for Biodiesel Production. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 869.

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