Production of Biodiesel from Watermelon Seed (Citrullus lanatus) Oil via Alkali Catalysed Transesterification
Authors: Orbih AO, Obahiagbon KO, Amenaghawon NA
This study was focused on the production of biodiesel from watermelon seed oil via alkali catalysed transesterification. The oil was extracted from the seeds using a Soxhlet extractor with petroleum ether and then characterised. The effect of various factor on the transesterification of the extracted oil to produce biodiesel was performed at different conditions: ratio of oil to methanol (1:3, 1:6, 1:8 and 1:10), temperature (50 oC, 55 oC and 60 oC), catalyst concentration (0.5wt%, 1.5wt%, 2.5wt% and 3.5wt%), and stirring speed (250 rpm, 450 rpm, 750 rpm and 1600 rpm) for a total reaction time of 180 minutes. The biodiesel produced was characterized and its properties were compared to ASTM standard values to determine its suitability as a liquid fuel. Results obtained from the characterization of the watermelon seed oil showed that it was a suitable feedstock for biodiesel production as its properties were similar to those specified by the ASTM standards. The optimum conditions for the production of biodiesel were established as oil-methanol ratio (1:6), concentration of catalyst (1.5 wt%), temperature (60 oC), stirring speed (1600 rpm) and methanol volume (430 ml). The biodiesel yield at temperatures of 50 oC, 55 oC and 60oC were 85%, 92% and 95% respectively. The properties of the biodiesel produced were found to be very comparable with those specified by the ASTM standards. The results obtained in this study could serve as a platform for plant wide design and optimization of commercial scale biodiesel plants.
Affiliations: Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
Keywords: Biodiesel, Watermelon, Transesterification, Biofuel, Process Variables
Published date: 2019/12/30