Keywords: biodiesel production, biofuels, palm kernel oil, transesterification, batch reactors, fresh vegetable oils, waste vegetable oils, glycerol
Development and measured performance of a batch reactor for biodiesel production from fresh and waste vegetable oils
The development and measured performance of a batch reactor for biodiesel production from fresh and waste vegetable oils as feedstock is presented. A biodiesel batch reactor was fabricated using locally sourced materials. Three different transesterification reactions were performed on the feedstocks using the fabricated reactor. The reaction temperature and time were varied for the fresh and waste vegetable oils to determine the biodiesel yield. The yield of the biodiesel under these reaction conditions was at its maximum at the standard reaction temperature and time of 55°C and 50 minutes respectively, while the yield was least at a reaction temperature of 60°C. The yield of the by product (glycerol) was maximum at the reaction time and temperature of 70 minutes and 55°C respectively. The colour of the biodiesel from fresh vegetable oil was the clearest while that from waste vegetable oil 2 (WVO²) was the cloudiest. Characterisation test results proved that the produced biodiesel has similar fuel properties with the conventional diesel and agrees with the ASTM standards for biodiesel. The outcomes of this work showed that biodiesel can be produced from various vegetable oils using the developed batch reactor.