OPTIMIZATION OF BIODIESEL PRODUCTION PROCESS PARAMETERS OF JATROPHA CURCAS OIL USING CALCINED EGGSHELL CATALYST
The search for alternative sources for petroleum-based diesel fuels as led to search on a new perspective which utilizes vegetable oils and animal fats to produce biodiesel fuels as substitution to the current petroleum-based fuel.This research was aimed to study the process parameters of biodiesel production from jatropha curcas and solid base catalyst(calcium oxide from waste egg shells) for the transesterification of triglycerides with methanol. The objectives were to study the effect of catalyst dosage, methanol to oil ratio, reaction time and reaction temperature on jatropha methyl ester yield. The jatropha methyl ester known as biodiesel produced was characterized as an alternative diesel fuel. The density, flash point, viscosity, Acid number and heating value of the biodiesel were 0.8412 g/ml, 165 ℃ ,4.97 mm2/s, 4.18 mgKOH/g and 40.41 MJ/kg respectively. Comparisons were drawn in line with ASTM D6751 literature. Jatropha methyl ester optimum yield of 93.58% was obtained at a methanol to oil ratio 13:1, catalyst dosage 8 wt%,reaction time 60 min and reaction temperature 70 oC. Hence, biodiesel produced from jatropha oil, methanol and calcined eggshell ash can be used as renewable yet cost-effective alternative to petroleum diesel.