In the design and operation of a Biodiesel production plant, feed stock composition is crucial to the profitability and long term operation of the plant. BurrowX performed research on restaurant grease waste to analyze the average composition of a given area in the U.S. This composition would have been used to determine the feasibility of constructing a Biodiesel production plant in the chosen city.
The sample grease was prepared to reveal a lipid extract phase. Then using thin layer chromatography (TLC) the liquid phase was analyzed. This method uses a high- polarity silica coated plate and a low-polarity solvent that travels up the plate. A marking of the sample to be analyzed is placed at the bottom of the plate, and the plate is placed in a beaker with a small amount of solvent on the bottom. As the solvent travels up the plate, the movement of the sample depends on its polarity.
BurrowX created Standards to compare the lipid sample movement to known compounds. Butter was used to simulate triglycerides and linoleic acid was used to simulate free fatty acids. Known concentrations of each of the standards and the lipid extract were run on a TLC column. Then the plates were stained with iodine chips to reveal the spots of sample. The area of the sample spot directly correlates to the concentration of the sample.
BurrowX could accurately assess the profitability of the proposed Biodiesel Production plant through this method.
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