Everything You Need to Know about the Enzymatic Process for Producing Biodiesel

admin Admin / 08, March'2022

As the environmental conditions deteriorate, people worldwide are shifting to biodiesel. The exhaustion of fossil fuels nudges individuals to use biodiesel as an alternative. But there are some concerns in this huge paradigm shift, such as the cost of the biodiesel process. However, handling this issue won’t be a hassle with the improved enzymatic process.

The enzymatic biodiesel production uses several edible oils like soya bean, sunflower, palm, corn, and rapeseed oil. Moreover, leftover oils from restaurants are also utilized in the process. Though edible oils are helpful today, non-edible oils will be on-board. Owing to food shortages across the globe that may sprout in the future, non-edible oils are used. 

The modern transesterification process involves oil and alcohol to produce biodiesel. It is an effective process. But there are several shortcomings, including expensive products and more. Above all, this approach is not environmentally friendly. Moreover, deploying this method results in huge chemical disposal and high wastewater production. As you know, the alkaline process involves only a transesterification reaction.

Free fatty acid conversion is ineffective as it results in soap formation. The acid process for biodiesel production comprises esterification reactions. Therefore, it is only implemented for free fatty acid conversion into biodiesel. 

The FFA’s are more in oils selected for biodiesel production. It implies that merging alkaline and acidic processes can be beneficial. But the cost is high when manufacturers use more than one process. Finally, the cost of biodiesel is higher than diesel extracted from fossil fuels. Therefore, the Government needs to take necessary measures like providing subsidies to industry.

The cost has always been a deciding factor. Also, enzymatic biodiesel is more expensive than petroleum diesel. Thus, it is crucial to understand biodiesel plants production and scrutinize high costs. Feedstock oils consume 90% of the cost, but the rest is operating and miscellaneous costs. As a result, the cost of feedstock oil can be reduced to fifty percent. 

Is the enzymatic process environmentally friendly?

The enzymatic process is a great choice to produce biodiesel quickly. You can always consider this process for effective biodiesel production. Triglycerides and FFA’s are converted into the final product. Several attributes like high-cost enzymes, more operational costs, and lengthy reaction times are considered in this process. 

Through these shortcomings, manufacturers report a low yield and less catalyst lifespan. But this process is environmentally friendly as there is no room for chemical disposal and wastewater. Instead, transesterification and esterification reactions convert FFA and triglycerides into biodiesel.

There are certain perks in using this process. The process only necessitates lower energy consumption as the reactions are subtle. The enzymatic process is now efficient with the evolution for three decades. Get to know about the process in detail.

Check out more in detail about the enhanced enzymatic process.

The traditional process had various shortcomings. But a new process has been developed to enhance the efficiency of the biodiesel production process. In the new process, there are two reactors, primary and secondary reactors. The primary reactor is used after mixing feedstock oil, solvent, recycled biodiesel, and reactant. Continuous stirred tank reactor biodiesel is the best reactor for the improved process.

The evaporator enclosed with the reactor makes room for water, solvent, and unreacted alcohol evaporation. The remaining residue of biodiesel, glycerol, and unreacted oil. Implementing the segregation process will yield two layers.

The two layers are composed of raw biodiesel and glycerol. The solvent is combined with glycerol, and it will be available in biodiesel’s crude form. The secondary reactant now comes into play as the specified mixture, and a reactant is sent to the reactors.

The outcome is sent to the evaporator instantly. The two different layers, enzymatic biodiesel and crude form of glycerol are found. The process continues to remove water, alcohol, and solvent. Finally, evaporation takes place to achieve unaltered glycerol.

Moreover, distillation is required as the biodiesel obtained through this method is found in its pure form. When it comes to pure glycerol, the final product is colored. Activated carbon helps in the decolorization of glycerol.


The condensation of alcohol reactant, water, and solvent takes place. Before sending it to the solvent recovery unit, consider accumulating it. As per the name, the unit supports the separation of solvent alcohol reactants. Finally, the process ends with recycling. After discharging the water, the reaction takes place at room temperature. 

The reaction takes at least ten minutes at most one hour. The enhanced enzymatic process is an ideal choice. Using two reactors like the continuous stirred tank reactor biodiesel is more cost-effective than other modern processes. The enzymes are best to use for at least a year. You need a very small amount of enzyme to gain fruitful results from the process.

Is the process cost-effective?

Cost analysis is implemented in several ways to check whether biodiesel production is cost-effective. First, studies suggest that using specific edible oils can decrease the cost. For instance, FFA’s in castor oil is 18%, whereas Rice bran oil has more than forty percent free fatty acids. Finally, studies imply that one can reduce the production cost of enzymatic biodiesel. It will be far less than diesel cost with the help of edible oils.


The cost of fossil fuels can impact the economy of many regions. So, one can use biodiesel plants where the infrastructure is not enough, and the fuel supply is inconsistent. One of the crucial jobs is to source feedstock easily from the cultivators. This approach makes oilseed cultivation effective.

Moreover, economic growth is definite in the region, making room for high employment opportunities. When you have the cultivators for oilseeds, get primary and secondary elements involved in biodiesel production.

At Mectech, our plant can cost-effectively aid enzymatic biodiesel production. Contact us to know more in detail about the biodiesel production process. Biodiesel is an effective alternative to diesel from traditional fossil fuels. Ensure that you utilize the best method for effective biodiesel plant production. 


    We provide best in class engineering services for your plant


    We provide best in class engineering services for your plant


    From the design stage to operation of your plant and beyond, we are there


    Constantly innovate to meet the changing industrial requirement of the customer with the changing market dynamics