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Use of Sunflower and Cottonseed Oil to prepare Biodiesel by catalyst assisted Transesterification

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Chemical Engineering Department, Nirma Institute of Technology, Nirma University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, INDIA

Res.J.chem.sci., Volume 3, Issue (3), Pages 42-47, March,18 (2013)


Environmental concerns and energy crisis of the world has led to the search of viable alternatives to the fossil fuel, FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester) is environment friendly, alternative, and nontoxic, safe, biodegradable has a high flash point and is also termed as Bio-Diesel. It is commonly produced by the process transesterification. For its production, establishment of suitable process, selection of proper feedstock and reaction parameters is of utmost importance in present scenario. This paper is an attempt to compare two production process viz. base catalyzed and two stage acid-base catalyzed for two possible feedstock viz. sunflower oil and cottonseed oil. The transesterification was done for both feed stocks by varying the catalyst as sodium methoxide, NaOH and KOH. The change in catalyst and process was found to affect the conversion of feed stock into biodiesel using magnetic stirring assisted with microwave. It was found that for both the feed stocks, the two stage process gave greater conversion to biodiesel as compared to base catalyzed process. Using methoxide as catalyst, the cottonseed oil gave a conversion of 98% in base catalyzed process as compared to 98.89% in two stage process. Similarly, in case of sunflower oil, greater conversion of 99.05% was found using KOH as catalyst in using two stage processes than that of 98.9% using only base catalyzed process. The FFA content also showed higher reduction in FFA content of 0.34% in case of two stage transesterification as compared to 1.1% in base catalyzed transesterification using KOH with cottonseed oil. Hence it can be concluded that the two stage acid-base catalyzed transesterification is more efficient in producing biodiesel as compared to base catalyzed transesterification alone.


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