A comparison of used cooking oils: a very heterogeneous feedstock for biodiesel.


Used cooking or frying oils are of increasing interest as inexpensive feedstock for biodiesel production. In this work, used frying oils obtained from 16 local restaurants were investigated regarding their fatty acid profile vs. the fatty acid profile of the oil or fat prior to use. The fatty acid profiles were analyzed by gas chromatography and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Besides the fatty acid profile, the acid value and dynamic viscosity of the samples were determined. Dynamic viscosity was determined because of non-Newtonian behavior of some samples. The results indicate that oils and fats experience various degrees of increase in saturation during cooking/frying use, with the magnitude of these changes varying from sample to sample, i.e., a high degree of randomness of composition is found in used frying oil samples. Properties of the samples that were investigated were acid value and viscosity which consistently increased with use, also in a random fashion. Multiple independent samples obtained from the same restaurants indicate that there is little consistency of used cooking oil obtained from the same source. These results are discussed with regards to the potential fuel properties of biodiesel derived from these used frying oils.

DOI: 10.1016/j.biortech.2008.11.064

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Cite this paper

@article{Knothe2009ACO, title={A comparison of used cooking oils: a very heterogeneous feedstock for biodiesel.}, author={Gerhard Knothe and Kevin R Steidley}, journal={Bioresource technology}, year={2009}, volume={100 23}, pages={5796-801} }