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Biodiesel as an Alternative Fuel for Diesel Engines

Authors: F. Halek, A. Kavousi, M. Banifatemi


There is growing interest in biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester or FAME) because of the similarity in its properties when compared to those of diesel fuels. Diesel engines operated on biodiesel have lower emissions of carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, particulate matter, and air toxics than when operated on petroleum-based diesel fuel. Production of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) from rapeseed (nonedible oil) fatty acid distillate having high free fatty acids (FFA) was investigated in this work. Conditions for esterification process of rapeseed oil were 1.8 % H2SO4 as catalyst, MeOH/oil of molar ratio 2 : 0.1 and reaction temperature 65 °C, for a period of 3h. The yield of methyl ester was > 90 % in 1 h. The amount of FFA was reduced from 93 wt % to less than 2 wt % at the end of the esterification process. The FAME was pureed by neutralization with 1 M sodium hydroxide in water solution at a reaction temperature of 62 °C. The final FAME product met with the biodiesel quality standard, and ASTM D 6751.

Keywords: Alternative Fuels, Biodiesel, Fatty Acid, MethylEster, Seed Oil, Transesterification.

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