Title: Factors interactions and the modelling of biodiesel production from Jatropha curcas oil

Authors: Ifeanyi Francis Offor; Richard Chukwuemeka Ehiri; Chihurumnanya Ola Ude

Addresses: Department of Chemistry, Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Ikwo, P.M.B. 1010, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria ' Department of Chemistry, Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Ikwo, P.M.B. 1010, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria ' Department of Industrial Chemistry, Faculty of Physical Sciences, Ebonyi State University, P.M.B 053, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Abstract: Renewable sources of energy such as biodiesel are attracting global attention as a result of dwindling petroleum resources, rising crude oil prices, increasing CO2 emissions and global warming. Jatropha curcas oil (JCO) is a plant-based non-edible feedstock that can be modified in order to enhance its use as transport fuel. A two-level-three-factor central composite design (CCD) was employed in base catalysed transesterification reaction requiring 16 experiments where reaction time (X1), catalyst concentration (X2) and methanol to oil ratio (X3) were used as variables to optimise the biodiesel yield using response surface methodology (RSM). A modified statistical model comprising of all significant factors and interactions (P < 0.0001) obtained by multiple regressions predicted that the highest yield of JCO-based biodiesel was 99.17% at the following optimised values: X1 = 1.8 hrs, X2 = 1% and X3 = 5:3:1. Also, there were significant interactions between X1, X2 and X2, X3. Gas chromatographic analysis of the JCO-biodiesel identified caprylic, capric, lauric, myristic, myristoleic and oleic acids as fatty acid components. The model has been found to describe the experimental range studied adequately.

Keywords: biodiesel production; biofuels; transesterification; optimisation; Jatropha curcas oil; JCO; response surface methodology; RSM; modelling; central composite design; CCD; reaction time; catalyst concentration; methanol to oil ratio.

DOI: 10.1504/IJRET.2015.068597

International Journal of Renewable Energy Technology, 2015 Vol.6 No.2, pp.181 - 195

Received: 22 Nov 2013
Accepted: 18 Jun 2014

Published online: 30 Mar 2015 *

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