Nancy Zgheib, PhD

Title: Biodiesel Production from Animal Fat and Plant Oils: Process Synthesis and Design

Duration: 1 year

Summary: The project will focus on the development of a new strategy to recover and upcycle by-products obtained from the agri-food industry and to exploit them in the production of biodiesel. The project will offer a solution to the improper disposal of waste cooking oil and fat coming from chicken, snail shells, and eggshells. Waste oils and fats will be used as feedstock for biodiesel production, whereas egg and snail shells will be enhanced into highly efficient heterogeneous catalysts for biodiesel production. Through a sustainable development approach, we will be able to produce a low carbon footprint biodiesel while using an innovative approach for the synthesis of its catalysts.

This project will focus primarily on the synthesis of a heterogeneous clay-based catalyst combined with calcium oxide derived from the calcination of snail shells and eggshells. The calcium oxide will be impregnated on the surface of activated clay, such as montmorillonite and Kaolinite, to produce a catalyst with a high surface area and catalytic activity. The properties of the catalyst will then be studied and optimized in order to generate the most efficient heterogeneous catalyst. Finally, the catalyst will be used to produce biodiesel using waste cooking oil and chicken fat as feedstock.

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