A novel technique for separating glycerine from palm oil-based biodiesel using ionic liquids

Maan Hayyan, Farouq S. Mjalli, Mohd Ali Hashim, Inas M. AlNashef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

280 Scopus citations


Biodiesel production from abundant bio-sources has drawn the attention of the academic as well as the industrial communities in recent years. However, one of the most serious obstacles for using biodiesel as an alternative fuel is the complicated and costly purification processes involved in its production. The difficulties involved in the separation of glycerine and other un-reacted reactants and by-products necessitate the development of new competent low cost separation processes for this purpose. In this work, a low cost quaternary ammonium salt-glycerine-based ionic liquid is proposed as a solvent for extracting glycerine from the transesterification biodiesel product. The separation technique was tested on palm oil-based produced biodiesel with KOH as a reaction catalyst. The study investigated the effect of DES:biodiesel ratio and the DES composition on the efficiency of the extraction process. The lab scale purification experiments proved the viability of the separation technique with a best DES:biodiesel molar ratio of 1:1 and a DES molar composition of 1:1 (salt:glycerine). The purified biodiesel fulfilled the EN 14214 and ASTM D 6751 standard specifications for biodiesel fuel in terms of glycerine content. A continuous separation process is suggested for industrial scale application.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)116-120
Number of pages5
JournalFuel Processing Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Biodiesel
  • Glycerine
  • Ionic liquids
  • Liquid-liquid extraction


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