Inderscience Publishers

Biodiesel production from crude oil of Jatropha curcas and Pongamia pinnata by transesterification process

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The present study is aimed to produce biodiesel from non-edible oil sources such as crude oil of Jatropha curcas and Pongamia pinnata by transesterification process which can occur at different temperatures (45°C to 70°C), depending on the oil used. For the transesterification of J. curcas oil (methanol 15% of oil and 12 g NaOH/litre), the reaction was studied with different temperatures. It was found that much of the process complexity originates from contaminants in the feedstock, such as water and free fatty acids, or impurities in the final product, such as methanol, free glycerol and soap. Results shows that purified ester yields at 45°C were 76% for 1 hr and 80% for 2 hr. At 50°C, purified ester yields were 79% for 4 hr and 76.75% for 6 hr. In case of Pongamia pinnata, purified ester yields at 50°C were 79% for 4 hr and 83% for 6 hr. Further, when the fuel was tested for its authenticity to be used in diesel engine based on the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), it was found that the fuel was coming within the prescribed standards. The study concludes that temperature clearly influenced the reaction rate and yield of esters. [Received: May 6, 2010; Accepted: August 12, 2010]

Keywords: biodiesel, monohydric alcohol, monoalkyl ester, Jatropha curcas, Pongamia pinnata, crude oil, transesterification, biofuels

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