Production of Biodiesel from Vegetable Oils

Author Name(s): Pampari Shailaja, Bajireddy Vinitha
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Biodiesel is a biofuel used alternative to conventional diesel fuel majorly used in order to reduce greenhouse gases, non-sulphur emissions and non-particulate matter pollutants. This article reviews the production of biodiesel from various refined vegetable oils like sunflower oil, groundnut oil, coconut oil, cotton oil, and mustard oil and protocol standardization for biodiesel production from waste vegetable oil. Extraction of biodiesel from vegetable oil undergoes chemical processing called transesterification. Presence of free fatty acid is tested by dissolving vegetable oil in isopropyl alcohol and ph indicator. After sample collection the vegetable oil undergoes preliminary treatment in case of waste vegetable oil in order to remove any debris or reminants from the oil. Later transesterification reaction takes place wherein oil reacts with alcohol (methanol) and catalyst (Naoh or Koh). Waste vegetable oil is added to catalyst and methanol in the container and is stirred well for complete dissolution. After 12- 24 hours, 2 clear phases can be observed with a clear interphase differentiating crude biodiesel and glycerin. Further the crude biodiesel is separated by different separation techniques and is further processed for washing using warm water. In order to avail pure biodiesel the washing step is carried out for 2-3 times. Further confirmation tests are carried out quantitatively and qualitatively. Different volumes of crude biodiesel were obtained from different oils used. Quantity of the crude biodiesel produced depends on the catalyst used.


biofuel, vegetable oils, transesterification, catalyst, production


Fuels generated from biological feed stocks are termed as bio fuels. Alternative fuels have gained recent significant attention. As the calorific value of vegetable oils is comparable to that of diesel, they could be used as fuels in compression ignition engines. Due to the predicted shortness of conventional fuels and environmental concerns, a search for Fuels is of great importance because they can be burned to produce significant amounts of energy. Renewable and clean alternative fuels have received increasing attention for current and future utilization. Fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) show great potential as diesel substitutes, and they are known to be sources of biodiesel. Biodiesel (FAME) is a clean-burning fuel derived from vegetable oils or animal fat and is an advantageous alternative to fossil diesel fuel because of its biodegradability, biorenewable nature, very low sulfur content and toxicity, low volatility or flammability, good transport and storage properties, higher cetane number, and its salutary atmospheric CO2 balance for production. Currently, more than 95% of the world biodiesel is produced from edible oil which is easily available on large scale from the agricultural industry. The use of non-edible oil for biodiesel production compared with edible oil is very significant in developing countries. Moreover, biodiesel returns about 90% more energy than the energy that is utilized to produce it .Biodiesel mixed with conventional diesel in some proportions can be used to run any existing conventional compression ignition engine and does not require any modifications to be done to the engine .Due to benefits like renewable in nature, low cost and green house gas reduction potential, biodiesel is nowadays incorporated all over the world. Biodiesel can be processed from Thermal cracking of vegetable oils and Transesterification. Transesterification is the most common process, in this process an ester compound is exchanged by an alcohol in the alkyl group. Transesterification of triglycerides (vegetable oils) with alcohol and suitable catalyst is carried out. Biodiesel can be produced from different triglyceride sources such as vegetable oils (that can be edible, non-edible or waste oils), animal fats (mostly edible fats or waste fats) and microalgae oil. Economic feasibility of biodiesel depends on the availability of low-cost feed stocks. Waste cooking oil is a cost effective and promising feed stock .


In order to reduce the usage of harmful fuels biodiesel can be promisingly used to protect the environment. In this procedure methanol is used with catalyst Noah or KoH All the vegetable oils yielded good amount of biodiesel when treated with Noah rather than KoH . Hence Noah can be dominantly preferred in order for production of biodiesel from refined vegetable oils or waste vegetable oils. But mustard oil has different result as it yielded more amount of biodiesel when treated with KoH rather than Noah. Waste vegetable oil yielded good amount of biodiesel when treated with Noah. Usage of either virgin oils or waste vegetable oils had almost similar results and approximately similar amount of biodiesel production. But waste vegetable oils are preferred in order for their proper usage and further processing. Processed vegetable oil to biodiesel will not effect the engine and as well as protects the environment from harmful gases. Hence waste vegetable oils can be efficiently used for production of biodiesel.


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