BIO-TRANSFORMER OIL PRODUCTION BY ENZYMATIC TRANSESTERIFICATION OF PAPAYA SEED OIL
Bio-transformer oil from vegetable oil has received quite attention as a substitute to mineral based transformer oil with a view of minimize mineral based oils and reduce greenhouse gases pollution. The seeds of papaya are potential feedstock for bio-transformer production owing to their high lipid contents and available. In this study, papaya seed oils was extracted via soxhlet apparatus using n-hexane and the oil yields were in between 34–35% which is commercially viable. The oil extracted was transesterified using immobilized Candida rugosa lipase as a catalyst at room temperature with various molar ratios of methanol to oil. The highest bio-transformer oil yield for papaya seed oil was found to be 96% at methanol-to-oil ratios of 6:1. The results obtained from the characterization of RPSO bio-transformer oil was analytically compared with that of the transformer mineral oil and ASTM standard requirement. Similarities and differences have been discussed. Owing to comparable results in the RPSO bio-transformer oil, mineral transformer oil studied and the ASTM standard requirement and its increasing breakdown voltage with increasing temperature application. The study revealed that papaya seed oils have the potential of being used as alternative feedstock for bio-transformer production.