Enhancing Kinetics of Biodiesel Production Using Morpholine

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With the ever-growing environmental issues such as air pollution and climate change, there is increased research in the solution of minimizing the use of fossil fuels.  Biofuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel have been chosen by governments to be the best possible substitutes. Because of the popularization of biofuels, there is a need for a scalable catalytic system that can be used to make biofuel under time and cost-efficient conditions.



Our researchers at the University of Nevada Reno have developed a simple modification to the most-common industrial process to help enhance biodiesel production. This will be done through a morpholine-assisted transesterification of low free fatty acid oils. This process can be implemented at existing biodiesel production facilities without any modifications to infrastructure.  Our technology will significantly benefit industry as seen through the advantages below.




  • The addition of morpholine resulted in a two-fold enhancement in kinetics of transesterification.
  • Existing plants can implement with this process without making changes to their plant infrastructure
  • Using morpholine accelerates the chemical reaction, makes the process cost-effective, and it is not difficult to separate on completion of the process.
  • Because of the shorter reaction times, our method leads to less expensive and smaller chemical plants.
  • The fuel properties of our biodiesel were found to meet or exceed ASTM standards for use in on-road vehicles; therefore, biodiesel produced using morpholine can be used in diesel engines with no decrease in engine performance.


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For Information, Contact:
Shannon Sheehan
Manager, Technology Commercialization
University of Nevada, Reno
Dev Chidambaram
Dharshini Bala