Batch Transesterification Process of Palm Kernel Oil with Ethanol in Biodiesel Production and Characterization of the Key Fuel Properties

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Christopher A. Idibie


The transesterification of palm kernel oil with ethanol using sodium hydroxide, a homogenous basic catalyst and the characterization of itsbiodiesel properties was carried out.The results of the biodiesel properties obtained compared well with those reported in literature. The characterization of the produced biodiesel involves keyfuel properties which include the following and their results; kinematic viscosity (45 cSt at 40oC), density (865.02 kg/m2 at 25oC), pour point (12oC), flash point (125oC), fire point (270oC), moisture content (310ppm), sulfur content (1.25%), iodine value (63.79mgI2/g), saponification value (209mgNaOH/g) and acid value (0.98mgNaOH/g), respectively.The effects of different operating parameters that were varied were also studied. The best parameters that produced the optimum conversion of palm kernel oil into biodiesel were;catalyst concentration of 2.5wt%, temperature of 80 °C, 1:18 palm kernel oil to ethanol molar ratio, reaction time of 1hr.30minsand a stirring speed of 700rpm. These operating conditions produced an optimum conversion of 95% of palm kernel oil to biodiesel.

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