CHARACTERIZATION OF CALCINED PAWPAW DRIED LEAVES ASH AT DIFFERENT TEMPERATURES AS HETEROGENEOUS CATALYST FOR BIODIESEL PRODUCTION
The increasing global demand for energy has fueled a search for sustainable and renewable alternatives to traditional fossil fuels. Biodiesel, produced through transesterification of triglycerides, stands out as a promising candidate. This study explores the potential use of calcined pawpaw dried leaves ash (CDPLA) as a heterogeneous catalyst for biodiesel production. Pawpaw residues, often overlooked, are rich in bioactive compounds with various applications, and this study aims to harness their potential in the biodiesel production process. Calcination of dried pawpaw leaves at different temperatures (500-900 °C) resulted in CDPLA, which was characterized using X-ray fluorescence (XRF), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The chemical analysis revealed a significant composition of CaO and SiO2 in the CDPLA, indicative of its potential catalytic activity. The XRD patterns suggested phase transformations, with Ca(OH)2 and SiO2 identified as major components. FTIR analysis further supported the presence of functional groups associated with CaO, highlighting the potential use of CDPLA as a biodiesel catalyst. The study emphasizes the environmentally friendly and cost-effective nature of bio-derived catalysts, with pawpaw residues offering an abundant and sustainable source. The research demonstrates the feasibility of utilizing CDPLA as a heterogeneous catalyst in transesterification reactions for biodiesel production. The findings contribute to the growing interest in bio-based catalysts, showcasing the potential of agricultural residues in addressing environmental concerns and promoting sustainable energy practices.