Biodiesel

Drs. Lisa Ott and John Nishio are leading the biodiesel research program. Currently they are developing a Laboratory Supercritical-Reaction Vessel to test production of fatty acids, methyl esters, and glycerol from non-conventional sources. Typically, biodiesel is made from triglycerides ("fat" or oil) from either plant or animal sources. The reaction involves the transesterification of the fat with a simple alcohol, most commonly, methanol. The products are three fatty-acid alkyl esters (when using methanol, the products are methylesters) plus one glycerol. Students assist in the development and construction of the small-scale reactor, culture algae and cyanobacteria, and assist in the chemical analysis of the prepared biodiesel fuel intermediates (fatty acids) and biodiesel fuels (fatty acid alkyl esters).

Grant Funded Research

  • CER awarded a seed grant to a team of collaborators, Drs. John Nishio and Lisa Ott, to develop a laboratory supercritical-reaction vessel to test production of fatty acids, methyl esters, and glycerol from non-conventional sources for biodiesel production.
  • Ott received the California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology Programmatic (CSUPERB) Grant, awarded April 30, 2010 for "Equipment for Interdisciplinary Biofuels Research in the collaborative Center for Ecosystem Research."