by P. I. Oghome
(Open Science Repository Engineering)
Abstract: The alkali-catalyzed transesterification of groundnut oil using a magnetic stirring device was carried out to determine the optimal values of process variables that would result in the maximum yield of biodiesel. The free fatty acid content (FFA) of the oil was determined to be 1.86%; hence, this justified the choice of the alkali-catalyzed process route. The process variables involved are alcohol-to-oil molar ratio, catalyst concentration, reaction temperature and time. The optimal conditions for the alkali-catalyzed transesterification were found to be an alcohol-to-oil ratio of 5:1, catalyst concentration of 0.5%w/w, a reaction temperature of 70oC and 50 minutes reaction time. The biodiesel yield at these optimal conditions obtained in this work was 87.1%. The biodiesel was found to have a flash point of 167oC, a cloud point of 8oC, pour point of -8oC and kinematic viscosity and specific gravity of 8 and 0.84, respectively. The properties of the biodiesel were compared to the ASTM standard for diesel.
Keywords: biodiesel, transesterification, characterization, yield, optimization, reaction condition, groundnut oil.