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Synthesis and Characterization of Soybean Oil Based Biodiesel under Optimal Sonication Power

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Polymer and Surface Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology, Nathalal Parekh Marg, Matunga (E), Mumbai, INDIA

Res. J. Engineering Sci., Volume 2, Issue (7), Pages 26-32, July,26 (2013)


Biodiesel is gaining more and more importance due to depletion and uncontrollable rates of fuel resources. Biodiesel is a renewable, biodegradable and nontoxic fuel. The use of vegetable oils and their derivatives as alternative for diesel fuel is the best solution in the current scenario. Nowadays economical processes to save the energy and to reduce experimental cost plays very important role in biodiesel production. The present study employed simultaneous application of sonic and mechanical energy to assist transesterification of soybean oil. The objective was to optimize the sonication power to achieve the highest possible yield of methyl ester of soybean oil. Experimental results showed that the optimized reaction conditions involved oil to methanol molar ratio 1:6, sonication power 210 W, catalyst concentration 0.2 wt% of oil and mechanical agitation speed 200-300 rpm at 45°C to yield the soybean oil methyl ester (SOME) up to ~95% yield in 60 minutes. Further, the synthesized SOME was characterized for density, kinematic viscosity, acid number, cetane number, calorific value, flash point, distillation temperature, sulfated ash content, carbon residue and fatty acid composition according to ASTM standards to ensure the quality of SOME to act as biodiesel.


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