Potential for Biodiesel Production from Waste Cooking Oil in Kenya

Biodiesel ProductionGlobally, use of biodiesel as an alternative to petro-diesel has seen increased interest due to environmental benefits associated with its combustion. The high cost of vegetable oils, which could be up to 75% of the total biodiesel manufacturing cost, has led to the production costs of biodiesel becoming approximately 1.5 times higher than that for diesel. Use of waste cooking oil (WCO) and waste vegetable fats (WVF) could greatly reduce the biodiesel cost as these are considerably cheaper than virgin oils. It would also reduce waste treatment costs associated with WCO/ WVF disposal in addition to alleviate health problems associated with its use. In the current study, biodiesel was produced from WCO/WVF collected from two hotels and a chips restaurant. WCO generated in our laboratories was also used after 9x of recycling. To determine the viability of biodiesel production from WCO/WVF in Kenya, twelve hotels within the capital city were audited to determine amount of oil/fat di carde on weekly basis. The biodiesel yields were 88 ±2.0, 90 ±2.6, 92 ±1.3 and 72 ±2.0 % for 9x recycled oil, WCO from Hilton, WVF from Utalii and WCO from chips restaurant, respectively. Fuel properties of biodiesel produced from the different batches of WCO was found to be markedly enhanced compared to those of the parent oil. Also, the values satisfied most standard limits according to theAmerican Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) standards for biodiesel. On average, the major hotels in Kenya capital City discard 60 kg of oil/fat per week hence biodiesel production from WCO/WVF presents a viable venture in Kenya. A 200 litres prototype bioreactor for production of biodiesel from WCO/WVF has been designed and installed at Technical University of Kenya.

Mbatia B. N., Ogur E., Makayoto M., Moses, Abdala M., Maina S., and Muniafu M.