Enhancement of Pretreatment Process for Biodiesel Production from Jatropha Oil Having High Content of Free Fatty Acids

Thumesha Kaushalya Jayasinghe; Paweetida Sungwornpatansakul; Kunio Yoshikawa
Biodiesel fuel (BDF) is derived from renewable resources and it is possible to avoid the dependence on petroleum fuel. The main challenge is to reduce the high BDF production cost resulting from the consumption of raw material and energy. In this study, two different mixing methods, namely the mechanical mixing method and the emulsification mixing method, were used for the esterification reaction to reduce the free fatty acid (FFA) contents in the Jatropha curcas oil. The conversion of FFA in Jatropha curcas oil to methyl esters was carried out using 98% Sulfuric (H2SO4) acid as a catalyst. The main objective of this study is to establish a proper mixing method that reduces the consumption of methanol intake and energy. The results showed that by using the emulsification mixing method, the acid value of Jatropha oil could be reduced from 9.3 mgKOH/1g oil to less than 2 mgKOH/1g oil using 1% w/w of H2SO4 acid with the molar ratio of methanol to oil of 0.8:1 at the temperature of 600C, whereas the mechanical mixing method required 1.25% w/w of H2SO4 acid with the methanol to oil molar ratio of 0.9:1 and stiring speed of 600 rpm at the temperature of 600C. The test results revealed that the emulsification mixing method is a promising alternative mixing method to the mechanical mixing method for the esterification reaction.
Biodiesel; Jatropha; Esterification; Free Fatty Acids; Emulsification mixing
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