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### Transesterification:

Transesterification is a chemical process in which a triglyceride (fat/oil) reacts with an alcohol, typically methanol or ethanol, in the presence of a catalyst to form esters and glycerol. In the context of energy commodities, transesterification is commonly associated with the production of biodiesel, where vegetable oils or animal fats are converted into fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) that can be used as a renewable alternative to conventional diesel fuel.

The process involves the interchange of the alkoxy group of an ester compound by another alcohol. These reactions are often catalyzed by the addition of an acid or base. The catalyst can be a strong acid, a strong base, or an enzyme. The most common industrial transesterification processes use strong bases such as sodium or potassium hydroxide as the catalyst.

This process has gained popularity due to the increasing demand for biodiesel as a clean-burning and biodegradable fuel. Biodiesel produced via transesterification can be used in ordinary diesel engines with little or no modifications, thereby offering a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to fossil fuels.

For additional information on transesterification, you can visit the following websites:

1. U.S. Department of Energy – Alternative Fuels Data Center:
This resources focuses on biodiesel, including how it’s made through transesterification, its benefits, and its use as an alternative fuel.

2. National Biodiesel Board:
As an industry trade group, the National Biodiesel Board provides a range of educational resources regarding biodiesel, including details on the production process and the chemistry of transesterification.

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