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STAT1300 Fundamentals Of Statistics

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With depletion of natural fossil fuel, there is a high demand for alternative source of fuel in the modern days that can help to meet the rising energy demands. The biodiesel is regarded as one of the contemporary source of organic fuel that can help as an alternative of the naturally occurring fossil fuel. The biodiesel is regarded as one of the most naturally occurring renewable source of energy that is obtained directly from conversion of various biomasses. Vegetable oil and animal fats are the main component from which biodiesel is being manufactured. According to Lam et al. (2010, p.500), there is no modification required in the automobile engine in order to make use of the organic biodiesel.  Ethanol is used as the base catalytic agent of the biodiesel that helps to promote the Trans esterification reaction. This reaction helps in the formation of fatty acid methyl ester which is the primary component of all forms of biodiesel. Wang et al. (2007, p.184), have added in the context that proper fermentation of biomass that includes high amount of carbohydrate can also help in the formation of biodiesel. This principle is very similar to brewing of alcohol that ultimately produces beer.  

The used of the biodiesel in efficient manner can help to deal with the consequence of the environmental degradation as it is believed to be reducing the emission of harmful gases and other components that are usually associated with in the case of the fossil fuels. Scientists have made use of microscopic organism like algae and fungi which uses the sun's energy and carbon dioxide along with water in order to transform the Biomass into organic biodiesel. Various type of vegetable oil including soybean, oil canola oil, Sunflower oil and many others are used by the biodiesel industry in order to prepare the biodiesel. The recent research has also show evidence that the wasted cooking oils can also be converted in the form of biodiesel, which is believed to be one of the effective ways to lower the cost of the production of the organic fuel. However, it is important to have effective ways that can help to make conversion of the cooking waste oil into the organic form of biodiesel. New form of Technology is required in order to effectively convert the cooking waste oil into usable form of organic biodiesel. It is important to have effective refining system that will help to remove all the impurities from the cooking waste oil which will ensure that high quality of biodiesel can be manufactured. Without removal of the waste from the cooking oil there is high risk of environmental pollution and high level of carbon dioxide being exposed in atmosphere (Yaakob et al. 2013, p.185).

Impurities found in any form of oil can lower the cost effective ratio of the automobile fuel and also causes harm to the engine. The latest technology of extraction needs to be implemented order to ensure that pure form the oil is being used to convert it into usable form of biodiesel.

The aim of the current research work is to analyze various ways that can help to produce low cost biodiesel by processing waste cooking oil. The current existing literature can be used in order analyze the research gaps that exist in the present research work. The research will also provide the methodology section that can be used for the investigation along with the anticipated outcomes.

Research Questions

  • What are the advantages of converting waste cooking oil into biodiesel?
  • What are the techniques that are used to convert cooking waste oil into biodiesel?
  • What are the advantages of the use of biodiesel?

Research Objectives

  • To evaluate the advantages of converting cooking waste oil into biodiesel
  • To evaluate the techniques that are used to convert cooking waste oil into biodiesel
  • To evaluate the advantages of biodiesel

Alkali-catalyzed system

The research work done by Chuah et al. (2015, p.235), have focused on the alkali-catalyzed Trans esterification that is believed to one of the best techquies applied in the laboratory that is use to convert the edible cooking oil and its waste into usable forms of biodiesel. The estimated temperature that is needed in the conversion process is about 60 degree Celsius, which is the boiling point of most of the alcohol including methanol, which is widely used in this process of conversion as the catalytic agent. Gude et al. (2013, p.135), have suggested that the kinetic of reaction of the alkali is one of the effective techquies that can be used in order to deal with the process of conversion of cooking and edible oil into the forms of biodiesel. The addition of tetrahydrofuran is believed to be one of best bio-catalyst of the reaction that helped in the process of speeding up the kinetic rate of the reaction. On the other hand Tsoutsos et al. (2016, p.75), argued that one of the major drawbacks of this process is that the separation techquies that are used to purify the extracted oil is not efficient enough to get the best quality of biodiesel. The purity yield is generally low that do not allow the reaction not to be effective enough. It was found that 20-25% of impurity was found after the separation techquies were applied. A high pressure bar is needed in order to produce the biodiesel in the commercial scale. Hence, a high source of energy is required in order to make that can help to make biodiesel with the help of this mechanism. This thus raises the overall cost of the production and also about the manufacturing process. The methanol that is being used in the overall process can be recycled and is thus used in the process for further process. Tangy et al. (2017, p.333), have mentioned about the sensitivity of this type of reaction that is also regarded as the major limitations.  This happens due to the fact that most of the alkali-catalyzed reaction is sensitive to both water and fatty acid solution. The presence of the water and free fatty acids is the cause the saponification reaction that can consume the amount of alkali. Hence, it is evident from the fact that further research is needed in order to make the alkali-catalyzed reaction more commercially effective.

Figure 1: Alkali catalyzed reaction

(Source: Maghami et al. 2015, p.576)

Hydro treatment of waste cooking oil to manufacture biodiesel

The research work of Maghami et al. (2015, p.575), have analyzed the effects of hydro treatment of waste cooking oil that is done in order to process the biodiesel  production have highlighted upon the fact that high temperature and catalyzed based reaction is needed in the scale. The range of temperature that is needed in this case was about 330-398 degree Celsius. The high rate of temperature is ideal for the gasoline production, whereas lower temperature is needed in the case of diesel production. Waste cooking oil is one of the essential requirements that are needed in the case of generation of the biodiesel and there are several methods, which are used for this purpose that has able to produce high and satisfactory quality of biodiesel. In this type of reaction both alkali and acid catalyzed type of reaction is needed in order to properly evaluate the manufacture of the biodiesel in the industrial scale. Ullah et al. (2015, p.521), have heighted upon the major advantages of the hydro processing techquies that is used in the industrial scale production of biodiesel and is currently used in all types of refineries. The low cost of the infrastructure that is needed in the production makes it economically affordable. It is also possible to avoid the esterification reaction, which is considered to be the major drawbacks of the alkali based reaction. Zhang et al. (2014, p.677), have added in the context that hydro processing of the vegetable oil using the vacuum techquies is one of the primary principals that is used in the process of conversion. It is important to use the pilot based processing techniques that is believed to be the primary processing unit. The principal of chromatography is used in order to separate the impurities and obtain the pure form of the hydrocarbon biodiesel.

Figure 2: Hydro treatment process of manufacture of biodiesel

(Source: Li et al. 2014, p.346)


It is important for the researchers to use the best effective possible methods that can be used to manufacture of the commercial biodiesel from the oil of the cooking waste and also to ensure that it is economically affordable.

Working plan

The researchers will have to collect huge amount of cooking waste oil, which is the primary raw materials that is needed in the given case. Most of these materials will be collected from the street sellers, which sells fast foods and other kinds of fried items. However, it is also important for the researcher to ensure that the wasted oil is of usable quality and hence in order to ensure this fact, it is important to dispose of the oil that are being used several days ago and only freshly used cooking waste oil is being used. The various characteristics of the waste cooking oil are properly analyzed that is needed to identify its proper characteristics and also make the manufacturing plan accordingly. It is also important to mention in the context that the overall working plan of the methods of conversion is used based on the individual characteristics of the cooking oil (Li et al. 2014, p. 345). Few of the important parameters that the researcher will have to consider includes the density, free fatty acids number, free glycerol along with bound glycerol and also saponification value. Other than the measurement of the density all other parameters are calculated using the techniques of titration. Methanol will be the form of alcohol that needs to be collected for the Trans-esterification reaction and potassium hydroxide will be used as the base catalyst.

The researcher will have to collect sufficient amount of secondary data from the previously conducted experiments and all other relevant research work in order to get detail information about the characteristics and chemical property of each type of catalyst that can be used in this type of reaction. 

In order to prepare the setup for the reaction, it is important to use a 500ml conical glass vessel that has to be equipped with a thermometer and cool water will be needed in order to make use it as the condenser. Magnetic hot plate along with mixing equipment is needed that will help to control the temperature of the overall experimental set up (Sirisomboonchai et al. 2015). The temperature of the reaction setup is fixed at 50 to 66.5 degree Celsius. It is also important for the researchers to ensure that the temperature of the room is kept under control. The volume ratio of the oil to methanol is kept at 220:30 to 170:80. The concentration of the base catalyst is kept at 1-4% of KOH. The total reaction time will be approximately 60 minutes and the mixture will be cooled thereafter. The reaction time of 60 minutes is believed to be enough for the optimum yield and also two layers of sedimentation to be formed.

Figure 3: Batch reactor of Trans-esterification

Transesterification methods

Transesterification reaction is believed to be the basic component of conversion of cooking waste oil into biodiesel (Cao et al. 2016, p. 871). The research will have to scale the potassium Hydroxide catalyst that will control the overall concentration of the reaction. 250 ml of methanol is used that will help to fulfil the molar ratio of the overall reaction. It is also important to ensure that all the ingredient of the reaction is properly dissolved in order to move the solution and make them effective within the batch reactor. The oil will be heated using magnetic stirrer. The temperature also needs to be controlled within a fixed time of the reaction and ensure that all the mixtures get perfectly mixed. The mixture will then be transferred into a separator funnel and after a while sedimentation will take place with formation of two layers. The upper layer of the reaction mixture is separated by of well that is formed from the experiment and the bottom layer is the glycine which is the waste material. Using proper separate techniques the biodiesel is separated from the glycine.


Cost of getting access of the secondary data: $200

Cost of collection of cooking waste oil: $200

Cost of other materials needed for experimental set up: $1000

Cost of publishing of the data: $200

Other miscellaneous cost: $100

Total cost: $1700


Total estimated time for the experiment is about 9 weeks.

Task And Time

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6


Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Introduction and Search for Secondary Data











Literature Review











Experiment design  











Deciding on the blue-print of the experiment design











Collection of the waste oil and other materials needed for the experimental set up











Perpetration of the experimental set up and conducting of the experiment











Conclusion and Recommendations











Proof- Reading











Publishing of the experimental result











Printing, Binding and Submission











Anticipated Outcome

The result of the experiment is expected to produce to highlight on the various determining factors of that is needed in the manufacture and the industrial scale production of the biodiesel. The optimum temperature of the formation of biodiesel is expected to be 66.5 degree Celsius along with the precise and effective molar ratio of 6.18:1. Hence, it is possible to determine the overall net volume of the biodiesel that is obtained along with the net effective cost ratio. The biodiesel that is obtained is expected to mix with some form of light and microscopic impurities as it is separated from the reaction mixture using the techquies of sedimentation.

Overall the process is expected to be highly cost effective as it will be use the waste oil from the fast food street restaurants. 


Cao, Y., Zhou, H. and Li, J., 2016. Preparation of a supported acidic ionic liquid on silica-gel and its application to the synthesis of biodiesel from waste cooking oil. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 58, pp.871-875.

Chuah, L.F., Yusup, S., Aziz, A.R.A., Bokhari, A., Klemeš, J.J. and Abdullah, M.Z., 2015. Intensification of biodiesel synthesis from waste cooking oil (Palm Olein) in a hydrodynamic cavitation reactor: effect of operating parameters on methyl ester conversion. Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification, 95, pp.235-240.

Gude, V.G. and Grant, G.E., 2013. Biodiesel from waste cooking oils via direct sonication. Applied Energy, 109, pp.135-144.

Lam, M.K., Lee, K.T. and Mohamed, A.R., 2010. Homogeneous, heterogeneous and enzymatic catalysis for transesterification of high free fatty acid oil (waste cooking oil) to biodiesel: a review. Biotechnology advances, 28(4), pp.500-518.

Li, M., Zheng, Y., Chen, Y. and Zhu, X., 2014. Biodiesel production from waste cooking oil using a heterogeneous catalyst from pyrolyzed rice husk. Bioresource technology, 154, pp.345-348.

Maghami, M., Sadrameli, S.M. and Ghobadian, B., 2015. Production of biodiesel from fishmeal plant waste oil using ultrasonic and conventional methods. Applied Thermal Engineering, 75, pp.575-579.

Sirisomboonchai, S., Abuduwayiti, M., Guan, G., Samart, C., Abliz, S., Hao, X., Kusakabe, K. and Abudula, A., 2015. Biodiesel production from waste cooking oil using calcined scallop shell as catalyst. Energy Conversion and Management, 95, pp.242-247.

Tangy, A., Pulidindi, I.N., Perkas, N. and Gedanken, A., 2017. Continuous flow through a microwave oven for the large-scale production of biodiesel from waste cooking oil. Bioresource Technology, 224, pp.333-341.

Tsoutsos, T.D., Tournaki, S., Paraíba, O. and Kaminaris, S.D., 2016. The Used Cooking Oil-to-biodiesel chain in Europe assessment of best practices and environmental performance. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 54, pp.74-83.

Ullah, Z., Bustam, M.A. and Man, Z., 2015. Biodiesel production from waste cooking oil by acidic ionic liquid as a catalyst. Renewable Energy, 77, pp.521-526.

Wang, Y., Ou, S., Liu, P. and Zhang, Z., 2007. Preparation of biodiesel from waste cooking oil via two-step catalyzed process. Energy conversion and management, 48(1), pp.184-188.

Yaakob, Z., Mohammad, M., Alherbawi, M., Alam, Z. and Sopian, K., 2013. Overview of the production of biodiesel from waste cooking oil. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews, 18, pp.184-193.

Zhang, H., Ozturk, U.A., Wang, Q. and Zhao, Z., 2014. Biodiesel produced by waste cooking oil: Review of recycling modes in China, the US and Japan. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 38, pp.677-685.

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