Biodiesel Formal Lab Report Essay example

Submitted By Jake904
Words: 1971
Pages: 8

Abstract: The transesterification of coconut oil with supercritical methanol in the presence of cosolvent was carried out in a batch autoclave for production of biodiesel. Burning biodiesel will produce a specific amount of energy, which can be measured using a bomb calorimeter. During the experiment, biodiesel from coconut oil in a base-catalyzed transesterification reaction.
Introduction: Due to increase in crude oil price, environmental concern for pollution from exhausted gas of cars, and demanding of reduction of greenhouse gas emission, nontoxic, biodegradable, and renewable biodiesel has received widespread attention in the past years. Many existing papers have revealed its promise as an alternative fuel for diesel engines. Biodiesel can be produced by transesterification of biological sources such as edible and non-edible oils and animal fats with methanol. In the transesterification of oils with methanol, the short chain methanol can replace the glycerol from triglycerides of the oils. The transesterification can be catalyzed by alkalis, acids, or enzymes. For an alkali-catalyzed transesterification, the reactants glyceride and alcohol must be substantially anhydrous because the presence of water leads to formation of soap from saponification. Soap lowers yield of esters and causes difficulties for separation and purification of the resulting esters. Besides, low free fatty acids content in oils is required in alkali-catalyzed transesterification processes. In acid-catalyzed processes, though water and free fatty acid are allowed in the feed, however, long reaction time, corrosion, and catalyst needed to treat after the transesterification are the drawbacks of this process. Biodiesel is becoming an increasingly acceptable alternative to fossil diesel because of the narrowing gap between worldwide oil production and consumption, increasing reality of the Hubbert peak and the imperatives for carbon-neutral fuels [3]. Biodiesel is biodegradable, non-toxic and has low emission profiles when compared to fossil fuel and its usage will allow balance between agriculture, economic development and the environment. Biodiesel is produced through a chemical process known as transesterification. Transesterification of vegetable oils with low molecular weight simple alcohols (methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol and amyl alcohol) has been established as the best option to reduce the high viscosity, low volatility, heavy engine deposits and toxic substance formation associated with the direct use of vegetable oils [5,6]. A wide variety of feedstock have been identified as suitable for biodiesel production including; soybean, canola, sunflower, safflower, Jatropha curcas, peanut, tigernut, coconut etc. Coconut is commonly found in the western part of Nigeria and will find good use as a feedstock for biodiesel production. Coconut oil is a fat consisting of about 90% saturated fat. The oil contains predominantly medium chain triglycerides with 86.5% saturated fatty acids, 5.8% monounsaturated fatty acids and 1.8% polyunsaturated fatty acids. Biodiesel is any fuel that comes from or is derived from a plant source that can be used in a diesel engine and that meets the same specifications as No. 2 diesel fuel (as defined by an ASTM standard). Biodiesel made from naturally occurring oils and fats usually meets or exceeds this specification. Currently, the production and use of biodiesel represents an alternative to using fossil fuels and is nearly “carbon neutral” since the burning of biodiesel produces carbon dioxide that was “recycled” from the atmosphere.
Methods and Materials: A warm water bath was prepared in a 250-mL beaker. 50-mL of water was used and heated to a 55-600C on a hot plate. The temperature was not allowed to exceed 600 during the reaction on a hot plate period. A 25-mL round bottom flask was then weighed. 10-mL of coconut oil (Essential Depot Greener Life Essentials, 1-Quart) was then added to the round bottom flask