Tuesday, July 3, 2007
A method has now being worked out to ferment the glycerin, which is a by-product of bio-diesel production. The fermentation produces ethanol. This raises an interesting possibility. To produce bio-diesel from animal and plant oils, methanol and a strong base are used. The result is the methyl-ester of the fatty acid. It should be equally possible to use ethanol and produce the ethyl-ester of the fatty acid. With both the bio diesel and the ethanol produced in the same facility, the ethanol can be piped back to the bio diesel part of the plant with great savings in cost over importing methanol. It should be possible to reduce the price of bio diesel making it even more competitive.