Biodiesel production from sewage sludge lipids catalysed by Brønsted acidic ionic liquids

Magdalena Olkiewicz, Natalia V. Plechkova, Martyn J. Earle, Azael Fabregat, Frank Stüber, Agustí Fortuny, Josep Font, Christophe Bengoa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Production of biodiesel from sewage sludge lipids was catalysed by six different Brønsted acidic imidazolium and long chain ammonium ionic liquids; both with an alkane sulfonic acid group and with different anions. Among the ionic liquid tested, 4-(3-methylimidazolium) butanesulfonic acid trifluoromethanesulfonate, [mimC4SO3H][SO3CF3], was selected as the best catalyst due to its high catalytic performance and purer biodiesel obtained than the equivalent ammonium ionic liquid, 4-(trihexylammonium) butanesulfonic acid trifluoromethanesulfonate, [N666(C4SO3H)][SO3CF3]. The influence of different reaction variables on the biodiesel yield was studied using [mimC4SO3H][SO3CF3] as a catalyst. The yield of fatty acid methyl esters (biodiesel) reached 90% (based on saponifiable lipids) under the following optimised conditions: 10:1 molar ratio of methanol to saponifiable lipids, 7wt% ionic liquid catalyst (wt%, based on lipids), 100°C and 5h. In addition, the ionic liquid has a good reusability and can be easily separated from the biodiesel. These acidic ionic liquids were found to be efficient catalysts for the synthesis of biodiesel from low-cost and non-edible feedstock like sewage sludge lipids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-746
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Early online date28 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2016


  • Biodiesel
  • Esterification
  • Ionic liquid
  • Sewage sludge lipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)


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