Biodiesel Pilot Plant

Biodiesel is an alternative diesel fuel. It is produced by chemically reacting a vegetable oil or animal fat with a primary alcohol. The resulting compound is called an alkyl monoester and has properties, that allow it to provide equivalent performance and superior emissions compared to conventional diesel. Biodiesel is renewable, non-toxic, as well as biodegradable.


Research Areas

  • Can be used for biodiesel production from different feedstocks such as Jatropha, Karanja, Neem or any other vegetable oil with low FFA content.

  • 250 liters of biodiesel can be produced per day.

  • By-product, glycerol can be used for soap making or in chemical industries.


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  • This plant can produce biodiesel using Jatropha, Karanja, Neem or any other vegetable oil (with low FFA) by converting the triglycerides into methyl esters by transesterification process. 

  • In this process, vegetable oil is reacted with alcohol in presence of a catalyst, which is maintained at an appropriate reaction temperature for a specific duration under agitation and the product mixture is sent to the settling tank for separation. The ester is collected and washed to get pure biodiesel. The pilot plant consists of a reaction vessel with heating and agitating device, a catalyst mixing vessel, few settling tanks and washing tanks.

  • The plant is used to produce fuel for fleet demonstration projects.

Dr Avinash K Agarwal

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
Kanpur-208016 India

Home Page: +91 512 2597982 (Off) +91 512 2598682 (Res)
Fax: +91 512 2597982, 2597408 (Off)

Engine Research Laboratory
Department of Mechanical Engineering
IIT Kanpur, Kanpur-208016

Tel: +91 512 2597458 (Lab)

  • Biodiesel Pilot Plant, Engine Research Laboratory, IIT Kanpur

  • Avinash Kumar Agarwal

  • Avinash Kumar Agarwal

  • Biodiesel, Straight Vegetable oils, Transesterification, Pilot Plant


  • Chemical Kinetics of Indian Oils (Non-edible)

  • Optimizing Biodiesel Process Yield

  • Design of Biodiesel Pilot Plant

  • Reactor Optimization



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