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A critical evaluation of the utility of subcritical water to support the production of biodiesel and renewable diesel from the lipid fraction of activated sludge

Edeh, Ifeanyichukwu (2016)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This work investigates the use of subcritical water to support the production of biodiesel and renewable diesel from activated sludge derived lipids. The activated sludge slurry was collected from two sewage works in the United Kingdom at different seasons. The biomass content of the slurry was obtained by filtration and dried to a constant weight. The results showed that total biomass content in the activated sludge slurry was dependent on its source and seasons collected. The lipid yields obtained using organic solvents were 2.8 - 7.4 wt. %. The highest yield of FAMEs from acidic methanolysis of lipid extract was 13.9 (wt. %) or 0.4 (wt/wt. %, on dry activated sludge basis), with palmitic acid as the predominant fatty acid. The low yield of the lipid extract increased under subcritical water treatment and optimisation using Design of Experiment (DoE) to 41.0 (wt/wt) %. The lipid extract was further investigated for potential use as a feedstock for renewable diesel production, by catalytic hydrothermal decarboxylation. The maximum yields of the primary hydrocarbon products pentadecane and heptadecane from fatty acids: palmitic, oleic and stearic acids were 23.2% and 15.2%, respectively, obtained after 1 h hydrothermal decarboxylation in the presence of 5% Pt/C.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Santos, Regina and Overton, Tim
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:Chemical Engineering
Subjects:TP Chemical technology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:6900
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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