Dr. Abdul Halim Shah is presently working as an Associate Professor in the Department Of Chemistry, D.M. College of Science, Dhanamanjuri University, Imphal, Manipur, India. After completing his school education in Air Force Central School, CBSE New Delhi in 1979, he joined D.M. College of Science, Manipur University, Imphal and received his B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Chemistry in 1984. Subsequently, he received his M.Sc. (Organic Chemistry) degree from Indore University in 1986 and Ph. D. in Chemistry under the guidance of Professor D.C. Deka, Gauhati University, Assam in 2015. Dr. Shah has been teaching both graduate and post graduate students since 1987.
The chemical process used to convert oils and fats to biodiesel is known as transestertification. The transesterification process can be carried out either by employing an acid or a base catalyst. We have developed a heterogeneous base catalyst that has been successfully used to convert vegetable oils to biodiesel. The catalyst has been derived from post-harvest banana plant. Post-harvest banana plants are of no use, and these are usually considered waste bio-bass. Therefore, we were looking for fruitful use of post-harvest banana plants and have been successful in converting them to a strongly basic heterogeneous catalyst. The catalyst can be prepared at a nominal cost, and hence should be quite useful in biodiesel industries. Details of preparation of the catalyst, and its efficacy in transesterification reaction would be discussed.
Another aspect that would be discussed is the conversion of non-edible vegetable oils to biodiesel. Conversion of edible vegetable oils to biodiesel brings in conflicts of interest, especially in developing countries thanks to shortage of edible oils and constraints of farming lands. However, non-edible vegetable oils from wild sources can be converted to biodiesel without involving any conflict of interest. Non-edible vegetable oils available in North-Eastern part of India and their conversion to biodiesel would be reported.