478852 Biodiesel Production from Jatropha curcas: Experimental Investigation and & Process Simulation
The challenges in continual depletion of fossil fuels and the relevant economic crisis and environmental concerns have attracted the scientists to seek for alternatives to fossil fuels like renewable energy resources. Biodiesel is an alternative fuel obtained from biomass and has similar physicochemical properties to petro-diesel. Jatropha Curcas (J.C) is one of the highly promoted oilseed crop at present in the world. The technological methods that can be used to produce biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester) are esterification and transesterification with acidic and alkali catalysts. In this work, we took 55 ml of J.C oil (triglycerides) and 22 ml of methanol as solvent with sulfuric acid as catalyst (1 mole percent). The reaction was carried out at 55 °C for 1 hour. Similarly, 12 ml of methanol with sodium hydroxide catalyst were added and the sample was kept for 1.5 hour for reaction at 60 °C. In the reaction, 35 ml of fatty acid methyl ester along with 19 ml of Glycerol were obtained. For this purpose we also simulated the process for a prototype and compared results of simulation and experiment. The simulation results show a yield of 92%, whereas experimental data shows 68% yield. The difference in simulation and experimental results is attributed to the losses in experimental yield in laboratory.
Keywords: esterification, transesterification, fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), triglycerides
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