THERMAL SCIENCE: Vol. 12 (2008), No. 2, pp. 159-169
TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF BIODIESEL PRODUCTION
FROM VEGETABLE OILS
V. S. Karuppannan VENKATACHALAPATHY, and
Original scientific paper
BIBLID: 0354-9836, 12 (2008), 2, 159-169
Biodiesel, a promising substitute as an alternative fuel has gained significant attention due to the finite nature of fossil energy sources and does not produce sulfur oxides and minimize the soot particulate in comparison with the existing one from petroleum diesel. The utilization of liquid fuels such as biodiesel produced from vegetable oil by transesterification process represents one of the most promising options for the use of conventional fossil fuels.
In the first step of this experimental research, edible rice bran oil used as test material and converted into methyl ester and non-edible jatropha vegetable oil is converted into jatropha oil methyl ester, which are known as biodiesel and they are prepared in the presence of homogeneous acid catalyst and optimized their operating parameters like reaction temperature, quantity of alcohol and the catalyst requirement, stirring rate and time of esterification. In the second step, the physical properties such as density, flash point, kinematic viscosity, cloud point, and pour point were found out for the above vegetable oils and their methyl esters. The same characteristics study was also carried out for the diesel fuel for obtaining the baseline data for analysis. The values obtained from the rice bran oil methyl ester and jatropha oil methyl ester are closely matched with the values of conventional diesel and it can be used in the existing diesel engine without any hardware modification. In the third step the storage characteristics of biodiesel are also studied. Key words: rice bran oil methyl ester, jatropha methyl ester, esterification, optimization, properties, storage
Biodiesel is an alternative fuel made from renewable biological resources such as vegetable oils (both edible and non edible oil) and animal fats [1, 2].
Vegetable oils are usually triesters of glycerol with different chain length and degree of saturation. The typical molecular structure of vegetable oil is shown in fig. 1. It may be seen that vegetable oils contain a substantial amount of O2 in their molecules. Where R, R¢, and R² are parts of the higher fatty acids forming ester with glycerol.
In 1911, Rudolf Diesel, discovered the diesel engine made a
statement that it is generally forgotten that vegetable and animal oils
Figure 1. Typical structure
of vegetable oil
Krishnakumar, J., et al., Technical Aspects of Biodiesel Production from ...
can be directly used in diesel engine. Practically the high viscosity of vegetable oils (30-200 Cst) as compared to diesel oil (5.8-6.4 Cst) leads to unfavorable pumping, inefficient mixing of fuel with air contributes to incomplete combustion, high flash point result in increased carbon deposit formation and injector coking. Because of these problems, vegetable oils need to be modified to bring their combustion related properties closer to those of mineral diesel oil. The fuel modification is mainly aimed at reducing the viscosity and increasing the volatility. One of the most promising processes to convert vegetable oil into methyl ester (bio diesel) is the transesterification, in which alcohol reacts with triglycerides of fatty acids (vegetable oil) in the presence of catalyst . This paper briefly describes about the biodiesel production, optimization of process parameters, characterization and storage of biodiesel from rice bran oil and jatropha vegetable oil.
Material and methods
Paddy is the important crop cultivated in India. With the locally available paddy, the rice bran to the tune of around 20,000 tonnes could be available even at conservative rate of...
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Authors ' addresses:
Paper submitted: January 20, 2008
Paper revised: January 21, 2008
Paper accepted: March 15, 2008
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