Olive & Oil 25/06/2014

Olive–pomace oil can be used for biodiesel production

Olive–pomace oil from steam-treated alperujo was successfully converted to biodiesel. The highest conversion for the alkali-catalyzed transesterification reached 95%

Recently interest has been revived in the use of plant-derived waste oils as renewable replacements for fossil diesel fuel. Olive–pomace oil (OPO) extracted from alperujo (by-product of processed olives for olive oil extraction), and produced it in considerable quantities throughout the Mediterranean countries, can be used for biodiesel production.

A steam treatment of alperujo is being implemented in OPO extraction industry. This steam treatment improves the solid–liquid separation by centrifugation and facilitates the drying for further extraction of OPO.

It has been verified that the steam treatment of this by-product also increases the concentration of OPO in the resulting treated solid, a key factor from an economic point of view. In the present work, crude OPO from steam-treated alperujo was found to be good source for producing biodiesel. Oil enrichment, acidity, biodiesel yield and fatty acid methyl ester composition were evaluated and compared with the results of the untreated samples.

Yields and some general physicochemical properties of the quality of biodiesel were also compared to those obtained with other oils commonly used in biodiesel production. As for biodiesel yield no differences were observed.

A transesterification process which included two steps was used (acid esterification followed by alkali transesterification). The maximum biodiesel yield was obtained using molar ratio methanol/triglycerides 6:1 in presence of sodium hydroxide at a concentration of 1% (w/w), reaction temperature 60 °C and reaction time 80 min.

Under these conditions the process gave yields of about 95%, of the same order as other feedstock using similar production conditions.


Antonio Lama-Muñoz, Paloma Álvarez-Mateos, Guillermo Rodríguez-Gutiérrez, María Montaña Durán-Barrantes, Juan Fernández-Bolaños, Biodiesel production from olive–pomace oil of steam-treated alperujo, Biomass and Bioenergy, Volume 67, August 2014, Pages 443-450, ISSN 0961-9534

di R. T.