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Biodiesel Research

Please note that Dr. Dubé is no longer seeking researchers for biodiesel-related projects.

Work on the production of biodiesel fuel from various feedstocks (waste and virgin oils, animal fats, micro-algae oils) was performed in Dr. Dubé’s lab for many years. We developed a membrane reactor for the production of biodiesel fuel and are currently commercializing the technology with a spin-off company, BioDiesel Reactor Technologies Inc. Other work included studies on various alternative process designs, reaction kinetics, process monitoring and sample characterization.

Graduates of Dr. Dubé’s Biodiesel Research Program: (in reverse chronological order)

Michele Hastie completed her M.A.Sc. degree under the co-supervision of myself and Dr. André Tremblay (Chem. Eng., Univ. of Ottawa) in 2011. Michele investigated the use of ion-exchange resins for the purification of biodiesel produced from high FFA feedstocks.

Jehad Saleh completed his Ph.D. degree under the co-supervision of myself and Dr. André Tremblay (Chem. Eng., Univ. of Ottawa) in 2011. Dr. Saleh studied the separation of biodiesel reaction mixtures for downstream processing.

Raghda Abo-Hasswa completed her M.A.Sc. degree under the co-supervision of myself and Dr. André Tremblay (Chem. Eng., Univ. of Ottawa) in 2010. Raghda investigated the impact of using a membrane reactor with high FFA feedstocks.

Sara Dastjerdi finished her M.A.Sc. thesis in 2010 on a process to produce biodiesel from algae-based lipids. This project was conducted in collaboration with members of the Dept. of Biology at the University of Waterloo.

Peigang Cao completed his Ph.D. studies in 2008 under the co-supervision of myself and Dr. André Tremblay (Chem. Eng., Univ. of Ottawa). Peigang helped construct and develop a novel membrane reactor for the production of biodiesel fuel.

Fadi Ataya developed a packed bed reactor for the production of biodiesel from waste vegetable oils. Fadi earned his Ph.D. in 2007 under the co-supervision of myself and Dr. Marten Ternan (Chem. Eng., Univ. of Ottawa).

Yongjun Zhang is a 2007 graduate of the M.Eng. program under the co-supervision of myself and Dr. André Tremblay (Chem. Eng., Univ. of Ottawa). Yongjun worked on the downstream purification of biodiesel.

Jie Liu is a 2004 graduate from the M.A.Sc. program under the co-supervision of myself and Dr. André Tremblay (Chem. Eng., Univ. of Ottawa). Jie was successful in building and testing a novel membrane reactor for the production of biodiesel fuel.

Sheng Zheng is a 2003 graduate from the MASc program. She examined the reaction kinetics of a process for the conversion of waste frying oils into biodiesel fuel.  Her work also included in-line monitoring of the biodiesel process using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy compared to GPC.  She was co-supervised by myself, Dr. David McLean (Chem. Eng., Univ. of Ottawa) and Dr. Morris Kates (Dept. of Biochemistry, Univ. of Ottawa).

Yi Zhang completed her MASc degree in 2002. She designed several competing processes for the conversion of waste frying oils into biodiesel fuel. This work included an economic feasibility study.  She was co-supervised by myself, Dr. David McLean (Chem. Eng., Univ. of Ottawa) and Dr. Morris Kates (Dept. of Biochemistry, Univ. of Ottawa).