(467c) Reactive Extraction as a Method to Produce Biodiesel From Jatropha Curcas Seed
AIChE Annual Meeting
2010 Annual Meeting
Process Development Division
Innovations in Bio-Refinery Processes
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - 1:23pm to 1:47pm
Jatropha curcas (jatropha) produces oil that can be converted to biodiesel by transesterification method. However, because of its high free fatty acid value (>2), acid catalyst is usually used in the process, rather than alkali based catalyst. Because of this, longer time needed for the reaction to complete. Furthermore, jatropha oil contains phorbol ester, a tumor promoting compound that can be exposed when the seeds are extracted for the oil. The application of reactive extraction as a method to produce biodiesel from jatropha, enable alkali based catalyst to be utilized, hence shortened the reaction time without compromising on conversion and quality of biodiesel. Since seed is used as raw material instead of oil, the possibility of phorbol ester exposure also can be eliminated. This study evaluates all the parameters involve in reactive extraction of jatropha seeds. Molar ratio of alcohol to oil was found to be the most important parameter in this reaction. The conversion was low at 100 molar ratio (2%) but then increased sharply when the ratio was increased to 200 (55%), 300 (75%) and 400 (82%). Only small increment was observed when the ratio was increased further to 500 (85%) and 600 (90%). Methyl ester conversion also affected greatly with the change on particle size of the seed. Of 5 different sizes of particle size, the smallest (<500 micron), yielded the highest conversion (86%) and the biggest (2000-4000 micron) produced the lowest (35%). On agitation speed parameter, low speed agitation (100 rpm) unable to produce high conversion compared to high speed agitation (300, 400 rpm). The study on temperature meanwhile revealed that there was minimum change on conversion when the reaction was performed in 30°C (90%), 40°C (89%), 50°C(91) and 60°C(98). Interestingly, study on reaction time indicates that the process completed very fast, which was after 20 minute of starting time. The calculation on methyl ester content of the samples demonstrate that high purity of methyl ester (<90%) can be obtained from this method. An implication of this is the possibility that reactive extraction can be an alternative way to produce biodiesel from seeds with high free fatty acid contents.
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