Biodiesel wash-water reuse using microfiltration: toward zero-discharge strategy for cleaner and economized biodiesel production

Document Type : Short Communication


1 Laboratory of Materials, Catalysis, Environment and Analytical Methods, Faculty of Sciences, Lebanese University, Campus Rafic Hariri, Beirut, Lebanon.

2 Biofuel Research Team (BRTeam), Karaj, Iran.

3 Young Researchers and Elites Club, Omidieh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Omidieh P.O. Box 164, Iran.

4 School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA.

5 Tim-Kian Co., Tehran, Iran.

6 Microbial Biotechnology and Biosafety Department, Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII), Karaj, Iran.

7 Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST), Tehran, Iran.

8 Advanced Membrane Technology Research Centre (AMTEC), Universiti Technologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia.


A simple but economically feasible refining method to treat and re-use biodiesel wash-water was developed. In detail, microfiltration (MF) through depth-filtration configuration was used in different hybrid modules. Then, the treated wash-water was mixed with clean water at different ratios, re-used for biodiesel purification and water-washing efficiency was evaluated based on methyl ester purity analysis. The findings of the present study revealed that depth-filtration-based MF combined with sand filtration/activated carbon separation and 70% dilution rate with fresh water not only achieved standard-quality biodiesel product but also led to up to 15% less water consumption after two rounds of production operations. This would be translated into a considerable reduction in the total volume of fresh water used during the operation process and would also strengthen the environmental-friendly aspects of the biodiesel production process for wastewater generation was obviously cut by the same rate as well.

Graphical Abstract

Biodiesel wash-water reuse using microfiltration: toward zero-discharge strategy for cleaner and economized biodiesel production


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