About this Research Topic
One of the key resolutions for mankind’s energy challenges is the development of biofuels. Biodiesel, or alkyl esters, is the fastest growing biofuel in the world and is considered a good replacement for petro-diesel. However, its full adoption is not yet economically viable due to the high cost of production of its primary feedstock, triglycerides derived from plant sources (oils). The cost of the feedstock (mainly oil) has been estimated to be from 70 to 95% of the total cost of biodiesel production, hence the need to carry out various investigations to discover novel plant seed oils, develop genetically-engineered plant seed oils with better yield, improve the extraction processes involved and determine the potential of such oils for biodiesel production.
This Research Topic is not limited to only novel oils - it also seeks to bring to the fore underutilized plant seed oils and waste plant seed oils as well as newly developed plant seed oils with improved yields and quality via biotechnology that have potentials for biodiesel production. In order to avoid “food versus fuel” concerns limiting the acceptance of biodiesel in some countries, particular interest will be focused on non-edible oils. Also, to deal with the problem of “fuel versus land”, mitigate CO2, and at the same time bioremediate wastewater, investigations of lipids production and extraction from microalgae will be welcomed. Alongside oil extraction research, results of investigations into the conversion of plant seed oils and lipids to biodiesel together with advances in the processes involved are also encouraged. Themes of interest to this Research Topic include:
• Identification of new plant seed oils and development of engineered plant seed oils that could be used as feedstocks for biodiesel production with focus on non-edible oils
• Sustainable lipids production from microalgae as feedstocks for biodiesel production
• Advances in extraction processes, such as solvent extraction techniques, supercritical fluid extraction, subcritical fluid extraction, etc.
• Applications of intensification processes to oil extraction from plant seeds (such as microwave, ultrasound, etc.) for biodiesel production
• Modelling and optimization of these processes to maximize oil yield
• Investigation of physicochemical properties of these oils to assess their potential for biodiesel production
• Sustainable biodiesel production and "food-versus-fuel" scenarios
Keywords: oil extraction, oil characterization, biodiesel synthesis, modeling, optimization
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.