Posted in | Materials Analysis

Full Elemental Analysis of Biofuels

Over the past few decades, biofuels—primarily made from vegetable oils or by fermenting plant matter—have gained popularity as more environmentally friendly and long-lasting replacements for fossil fuels.

However, the production of the raw materials needed to make biofuels has resulted in significant deforestation and competition for farmland with traditional crops that are a staple food for humans and animals. New sources, such as algae, have been developed to produce biofuels to reduce the effects.

Similar to the refining of fossil fuels, the refining of biofuels requires extensive chemical analysis to guarantee the quality of both raw materials and finished goods.

This includes keeping an eye on different metals and non-metals that could negatively affect the efficiency of the process and the caliber of the finished products, or produce hazardous emissions and byproducts during the refining process.

The fuels industry frequently uses analytical techniques, such as ICP-OES, for metals analysis and combustion-based elemental analysis to detect non-metals. It is governed by national and international standards such as ASTM and UOP.

The various types of biofuels are introduced in this session, along with an overview of the developments in new raw materials and manufacturing techniques.

The difficulties laboratories encounter when analyzing samples from the biofuel production process are outlined in application examples using elemental analysis and ICP-OES, along with how modern analytical technologies can solve these difficulties. A case study demonstrating the creation of biodiesel from used animal fat will be given.

Image Credit: Analytik Jena US

Key Learning Objectives

  • An overview of the various types of biofuels, their production methods, and unwanted chemical elements
  • Providing an elemental analysis solution that is quick, dependable, and affordable for major elements such as carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, and chlorine (C, N, S, X) to maintain the highest levels of process and product quality
  • A discussion of the benefits of high-resolution ICP-OES for analyzing trace metals in biofuel precursors
  • Case study of the quality control of biodiesel made from used animal fat

The Speakers

  • Angela Gröbel, Product Manager/Expert Supervisor EA/TOC
  • Oliver Büttel, Analytical Instruments Product Manager Analytik Jena US LLC
  • Victoria Kirk, Application Specialist

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