biodiesel from recycled cooking oils

Waste oil for biodiesel synthesis

Alkoxides for Biodiesel

Among alternative energy sources, biodiesel, made from a mix of diverse resources such as recycled cooking oil is a bridging technology on the road to sustainable mobility. We have accompanied the development of biodiesel since the start of commercial production. In addition to traditional feedstocks, we focus on second-generation raw materials. These include above all Jatropha curcas or algae, whose harvest does not compete with food cultivation.

In many countries, blending biodiesel with fossil diesel is mandatory. The green fuel is biodegradable, non-toxic, poses no threat to drinking water and can be used in existing diesel engines. As a result, fewer greenhouse gases and soot are emitted, which significantly improves the energy balance. In addition, biodiesel is not a hazardous material, which makes it easier to transport, store and handle. Biodiesel is characterized by excellent lubricity and is also gentle on the vehicle engine.

The key benefits of biodiesel at a glance

  • Reduced CO2 emissions up to 67%
  • Reduces greenhouse gases by up to 86% over the entire life cycle 
  • Lower soot amounts in exhaust gas
  • Biodiesel is not a hazardous material
  • Biodiesel is biodegradable
  • Less energy requirement and lower costs through transesterification

Our alkoxide product portfolio is tailored to the special requirements of the manufacture and use of modern, high-tech fuel. We offer:

  • Alkoxides as catalysts for efficient transesterification
  • Anti-foaming agents for effective use of biodiesel blends
  • Flow improvers for outstanding low-temperature properties in all regions in all seasons
  • Special polyamide 12 for special, durable automotive components
  • Process engineering consulting



Due to their molecular structure, vegetable oils are not suitable for use as fuel in conventional diesel engines. Vegetable and animal fats consist of triglycerides, that is, the combination of the trivalent alcohol glycerol with three fatty acids. If the glycerol is replaced with methanol, the viscous vegetable oil is transformed into a fuel with excellent flow characteristics: biodiesel.

And all it takes is a simple chemical reaction called transesterification, which involves mixing methanol with a small quantity of an alkaline catalyst which provides cost savings and performance and selectivity that provides a good biodiesel yield. The most effective catalysts are the metal alkoxide catalyst sodium methylate in the form of a 30% solution in methanol (NM 30) and potassium methylate in the form of a 32% solution in methanol (KM 32), both from Evonik.

In addition to the main product, biodiesel, transesterification also yields glycerol as a valuable byproduct.

transesterification of biodiesel with sodium methylate and potassium methylate
Sodium methylate and potassium methylate are effective catalysts in the transesterification process that produces biodiesel.

Our Catalysts


Application / Requirements of Raw Materials


  • The leading component in the transesterification of vegetable oils
  • Water content max. 0.1%


  • For basic oils with an FFA (free fatty acids) content higher than 1.0%
  • F.e. recycled cooking oils and animal fats
  • Water content max. 0.1%


Both catalysts can be used in anhydrous production processes in a closed circuit directly from the storage tank without any additional intermediary steps. This reduces the risks associated with handling alkoxides to an absolute minimum.


For many years our analytical labs have been working on the alkoxide-catalyzed transesterification process and the quality characteristics of the target product biodiesel. In addition to production-related analysis, we also examine your raw materials and end products. Based on the results of our analytical tests, you benefit from our consulting competency, for example, through avoiding yield losses or irregularities in the production process. Please contact us for further information!




Test Procedure

Ester content

% (m/m)

EN 14103

Linolenic acid ME content

% (m/m)

EN 14103

Water content


EN ISO 12937

Total contamination


EN 12662

Oxidation stability, 110 °C


EN 14112

Acid value

mg KOH/g

EN 14104

Iodine value

g Iod/100 g

EN 14111

Methanol content

% (m/m)

EN 14110

Monoglyceride content

% (m/m)

EN 14105

Diglyceride content

% (m/m)

EN 14105

Triglyceride content

% (m/m)

EN 14105

Free glycerol content

% (m/m)

EN 14105

Total glycerol content

% (m/m)

EN 14105

Alkali metal content (Na+K)


EN 14108
EN 14109

Phosphorus content


EN 14107

Density (15 °C)


EN ISO 3675

Viscosity (40 °C)


EN ISO 3104

Flash point


ISO/CD 3679

Sulphur content


DIN EN 20884

Sulphated ash content

% (m/m)

ISO 3987

FAME content with more than 3 double bonds

% (m/m)

EN 14103



DIN EN 116

Analytics of raw materials and byproducts

Raw Materials / Byproducts

Crude Oil

Fatty Acid Content

Phosphatide content


Water content



Content (Titr.)

Soap content


Ester content




Our engineering optimizes your processes

Know-how for greater plant efficiency

Our work focuses on process optimization to provide economic benefits to the biodiesel industry. The goal is always to make the plants more cost-efficient and more effective. The topics range from the use of new oils and the optimization of individual reaction and separation stages in existing biodiesel procedures to how capacity expansions of 20 to 30 percent can be achieved cost-effectively through elimination of bottlenecks in the existing plants. 

In these projects, we support you with interdisciplinary teams from development of the solution through preselection and testing in our labs or technical centers and finally, to successful large-scale implementation.

cost-efficient biodiesel production plants
Our goal is to make your biodiesel plants more cost-efficient and more effective. 

We advise you from project management to commissioning

International experience

The core competency in the engineering sector is in the planning and construction of production plants - domestically and internationally. In the biodiesel area, we focus on optimization measures such as the elimination of bottlenecks. Our range of services covers:

  • Project management including quality, cost, and schedule controlling
  • Planning services such as potential analyses, basic and detailed planning
  • Specialist services from apparatus technology to production logistics
  • Construction and assembly management
  • And finally, support with commissioning and training of your employees

These services are provided exclusively by competent and experienced engineers, the key reason to ensure that the project goals can be achieved to your fullest satisfaction.

Contact and further information