Biodiesel Production from Alkali-Catalyzed Transesterification of Tamarindus indica Seed Oil and Optimization of Process Conditions

Molecules. 2022 May 18;27(10):3230. doi: 10.3390/molecules27103230.

ABSTRACT

Biodiesel is considered a sustainable alternative to petro-diesel owing to several favorable characteristics. However, higher production costs, primarily due to the use of costly edible oils as raw materials, are a chief impediment to its pecuniary feasibility. Exploring non-edible oils as raw material for biodiesel is an attractive strategy that would address the economic constraints associated with biodiesel production. This research aims to optimize the reaction conditions for the production of biodiesel through an alkali-catalyzed transesterification of Tamarindus indica seed oil. The Taguchi method was applied to optimize performance parameters such as alcohol-to-oil molar ratio, catalyst amount, and reaction time. The fatty acid content of both oil and biodiesel was determined using gas chromatography. The optimized conditions of alcohol-to-oil molar ratio (6:1), catalyst (1.5% w/w), and reaction time 1 h afforded biodiesel with 93.5% yield. The most considerable contribution came from the molar ratio of alcohol to oil (75.9%) followed by the amount of catalyst (20.7%). In another case, alcohol to oil molar ratio (9:1), catalyst (1.5% w/w) and reaction time 1.5 h afforded biodiesel 82.5% yield. The fuel properties of Tamarindus indica methyl esters produced under ideal conditions were within ASTM D6751 biodiesel specified limits. Findings of the study indicate that Tamarindus indica may be chosen as a prospective and viable option for large-scale production of biodiesel, making it a substitute for petro-diesel.

PMID:35630710 | PMC:PMC9148013 | DOI:10.3390/molecules27103230

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