Home Research & Education New 3D printing material made from biodiesel production waste

New 3D printing material made from biodiesel production waste

Researchers have found an innovative way to recycle waste products from the production of biodiesel as a 3D printing material. The so-called “Matter Organic Non-Glycerol” (MONG) makes up around a quarter of the waste from soy biodiesel factories and is normally disposed of in landfills.

In a recent study, the research team succeeded in making MONG usable as a copolymer for 3D printing filaments. As a copolymer, MONG can reduce the proportion of synthetic polymers in natural fiber-reinforced plastics.

After several treatment steps, the researchers were able to combine the resulting MONG copolymer paste with thermoplastics to produce a usable 3D printing material. Although the study was based on soy biodiesel, the process can also be applied to other feedstocks such as biogas, ethanol and even used cooking oils.

This technology could be very useful in the future, as biofuel production is expected to increase significantly. Only recently, researchers from India have developed a filament based on kerosene and fuel oil. In particular, the recycling of waste and residual materials from biofuel production holds great potential.

In addition to conserving fossil resources and reducing greenhouse gases, additive manufacturing benefits from new material properties. The integration of biological compounds, for example, promises to improve the biodegradability of 3D printed products.

According to initial findings, the MONG-based 3D printing material shows promising thermal properties. Further details can be found directly in the scientific paper “Utilization of residual fatty acids in matter organic non-glycerol from a soy biodiesel plant in filaments used for 3D printing“.

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