Inderscience Publishers

Parametric study of biodiesel quality and yield using a bench-top processor

Biodiesel is a renewable liquid fuel alternative to petrodiesel. It is produced by the transesterification of vegetable oil and alcohol in the presence of a catalyst. A 1.5 L bench-top biodiesel processor was constructed to study the effect of feedstock and operating conditions on the conversion and the biodiesel quality. Biodiesel was produced from several oil feedstocks using methanol and potassium hydroxide as a catalyst. The quality of the biodiesel produced was assessed by measuring the percent conversion, the viscosity, the heat of combustion, and the residual soaps. Both the one-stage base process and the base-base two-stage production process were tested. The two-stage process exhibits greater conversion with a lower methanol/oil ratio and improved biodiesel quality. [Received: April 8, 2011; Accepted: June 16, 2011]

Keywords: parametric study, biodiesel quality, biodiesel yield, bench-top processor, base-base process, two-stage process, transesterification, biodiesel viscosity, oil conversion test, residual soap test, renewable energy, biofuels, biofuel feedstock

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