Qiang Tang, Yanyan Zheng and Prof. Dr. Jinfu Wang
Pyrolytic biodiesel from plant oil asphalt: The cover image shows a scheme for the conversion of plant oil asphalt into pyrolytic biodiesel by using vacuum pyrolysis. Plant oil asphalt is the black, dense, highly viscous liquid product generated in the biodiesel or fatty-acid industries. Plant oil asphalt is currently an underutilized lipid-based biomass residue. In the process described by Jinfu Wang and colleagues at Tsinghua University on page 512, the plant oil asphalt can be transformed into 70 wt % pyrolytic oil by vacuum pyrolysis and then further upgraded to pyrolytic biodiesel, which is a mixture of fatty-acid methyl esters, paraffins, cycloparaffins, olefins, and aromatics. The pyrolytic biodiesel exhibits a clear pale yellow color and excellent storage stability.