The changes of physical properties in transesterification of three different vegetable oils to biodiesel; comparison and evaluation to determine reaction conversion

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Research Paper 01/07/2014
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The changes of physical properties in transesterification of three different vegetable oils to biodiesel; comparison and evaluation to determine reaction conversion

Rouhollah Ghanei
J. Bio. Env. Sci.5( 1), 352-361, July 2014.
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Abstract

In recent decade, since the fossil fuel sources are diminished, many researchers have proposed to use a pure, non-toxic and biodegradable fuel which is called biodiesel, instead of traditional diesel fuel. The progress of transesterification of oil to biodiesel could be determined by monitoring the changes of physical properties during reaction. This approach could be used as an alternative to expensive and time-consuming methods. In this study transesterification of sunflower, canola and corn oils was carried out at 65°C , MeOH to oil molar ratio of 6:1, 1 wt% of KOH as catalyst under vigorous mixing for 60 min. Yield of the reaction was 95.2, 94.7, and 95.6, respectively. Six blends composed of produced biodiesel and fresh oil were prepared in different wt%, for each oil, as incomplete reaction mixture. Specific gravity, viscosity, refractive index, cloud point, pour point and flash point were measured and the appropriate functions were fitted on the extracted data. Results have shown that the physical properties of fresh oil change during the reaction with a constant rate and the slope of the changes are independent of oil type. Depending on results, refractive index, specific gravity and viscosity are highly recommended to predict the reaction progress.

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