Comparative Studies on in-situ and Conventional Transesterification of Palm Kernel Biomass for Biodiesel Production

Ikechukwu D. Chikaodili1, Ifijen I. Hilary2, and Esther U. Ikhuoria1

University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, 1Department of Chemistry, 2Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria, Research Operations Department, NIGERIA

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This study investigated in-situ transesterification of palm kernel biomass at variable reaction time (4h, 5h, and 6h), catalyst loading (2wt%, 3wt%, and 5wt%), and reaction temperatures (30oC, 40oC, and 50oC). The biodiesel yields were observed to vary with these parameters. GC/MS analysis showed high fatty acid methyl ester (FAMEs) content for all the prepared biodiesel samples (C-18:1, C-14:0, C-16:0, and C-18:0). 2wt% catalyst loading, 4h reaction time and 50oC reaction temperature were observed to be the best reaction conditions from the experimented parameters that gave the best biodiesel yields at 300 rpm mixing intensity. In-situ method records a higher degree of oil extraction and efficient conversion of oil to biodiesel (93.93%) compared to the conventional transesterification method which gave 89.45%. The kinematic viscosity, acid value, and iodine value of 3.96 mm2/s, 0.5 mg KOHg-1, and 120 g100g-1 were found to be within the limits of ASTM D6751-09 and EN14214 standards. These results confirm that an efficient production of biodiesel from palm kernel biomass could be possible through an in-situ acidic transesterification process.

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