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Synthesis of Biodiesel through In Situ Transesterification of Jatropha curcas

Abadi Ginting, M. Surya Abadi Ginting (2009) Synthesis of Biodiesel through In Situ Transesterification of Jatropha curcas. Masters thesis, UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI PETRONAS.

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Abstract

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel synthesized through a chemical reaction of alcohol and vegetable or animal oils, fats or greases. Currently most of the biodiesel production is based on edible oils and use methanol and alkaline catalysts in two step transesterification process. The main limitation of biodiesel production is due to the high feedstock and production cost. The use of non edible oil sources, such as Jatropha curcas, can reduce the high feedstock cost since it does not compete with food supply and this leads to a cheaper feedstock source. Moreover, it is hoped that these problems can be counterbalanced by combining both extraction and reaction steps. This method is known as in situ transesterification. The experiments were carried out in a batch reactor equipped with a reflux condenser, a magnetic stirrer and a thermometer. Effect such as types of base catalyst (KOH, NaOH and NaOMe), their concentrations (0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 2.5 (wt.%)), reaction time (2, 4 and 6 hours), reaction temperature (30, 40, 50, 60 and 70oC), stirrer speed (100, 200, 400 and 600 rpm) and types of alcohol such as methanol, ethanol and mixture of methanol-ethanol (50% : 50%) (v/v) were studied. The kinetics of transesterification of Jatropha curcas seeds were also investigated. The liquid products which consist of methyl ester, ethyl ester or mixtures of both were analyzed using Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) and Gas Chromatography (GC). TLC was used to determine the content of the alkyl ester in the biodiesel sample qualitatively. However, it can not be used to quantify the amount of the alkyl ester in the biodiesel sample. Therefore, GC was used to determine the amount of the fatty acid alkyl ester in the biodiesel sample. The analysis of the biodiesel samples was conducted based on ASTM D 6854 – 00. It was found that the highest yield of the alkyl ester (99.97%) was obtained at 30°C, with 2.00 wt.% sodium methoxide concentration and stirrer speed of 600 rpm for 2 hours of reaction time. However, the methanolysis in situ transesterification of the Jatropha curcas seed was unsuccessful because the yield of the biodiesel was only 39.42%. At the optimum conditions, the acid value, viscosity and total glycerin were 0.04 mg KOH/g of sample, 5.5 mm2/s and 0.003 (wt.%), respectively. At 30oC, the reaction order and reaction rate constant was found to be 1.24 and 0.009 liter0.24/mol0.24.s, respectively. The mechanism of the biodiesel production through in situ transesterification of Jatropha curcas seed was determined by solid-liquid kinetics. Then, it was found that the reaction rate was most probably ash diffusion controlled.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subject: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Engineering > Chemical
Depositing User: Users 5 not found.
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2012 10:13
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2017 09:44
URI: http://utpedia.utp.edu.my/id/eprint/2925

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