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Biodiesel study in the international context using technology prospecting


*Corresponding author
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Escola de Química, Departamento de Processos Orgânicos,
Avenida Athos da Silveira Ramos, 149, Block E, Centro de Tecnologia,
Cidade Universitária/Ilha do FundãoRio de Janeiro, 21949-900 RJ, Brazil


Biodiesel has been a target of interest all over the world. Technology prospection is one of the most effective strategies to learn about global research and innovation over an issue. In this paper, the study was based on the analysis of patents, both applied and granted, from American Basis USPTO until mid-2014. As expected, USA is the country with the most patents but Brazil’s representation regarding the number of patents is surprising due to the small tradition of the country in patents with respect to other fields of research. 
The most relevant result of this work, however, is the contrast between the relatively recent interest in biodiesel and the data that reflect characteristics of an industry in the stage of maturity, as can be inferred from meso and micro analysis. It also contrasts with the fact that in Asian countries the interest over biodiesel is still more recent, suggesting that the degree of maturity of biodiesel industry is not similar all over the world.


Concerns regarding the environment and growing necessity of technology to extract energy resources have been leading to a search for alternative energy resources, among which biofuels are the most studied nowadays. Biodiesel has been in the spotlight in the recent years.
Any vegetal oil extracted from oilseed can be used as a feedstock to biodiesel production (1). Recently, microorganisms have also been a topic of academic studies with the most diverse approaches, from the use of such microorganisms as lipid resources (2-4) to their genetic modification to produce biodiesel working as a biocatalyst (5). Some studies even suggest the use of animal fat wastes (AFWs) as feedstock in order to lower feedstock costs while simultaneously eschewing feedstock which might threaten food safety (6).Efforts have also been made to produce biodiesel using waste cooking oil.
Transesterification via basic homogeneous catalysis is the main industrial route for biodiesel production but today, different kinds of heterogeneous catalysts have been studied as a potential alternative to the previous method. Scientists have been searching for raw g ...