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Title: Biodiesel production from vegetable oils by supercritical methanol
Authors: Demirbas, Ayhan
Keywords: Alternative fuel
Vegetable oil
Issue Date: Nov-2005
Publisher: CSIR
IPC CodeC10L 1/10
Abstract: Transesterification of vegetable oils in supercritical methanol are carried out without using any catalyst. Methyl esters of vegetable oils or biodiesels have several outstanding advantages among other new-renewable and clean engine fuel alternatives and can be used in any diesel engine without modification. The most important variables affecting the methyl ester yield during the transesterification reaction are molar ratio of alcohol to vegetable oil and reaction temperature. Compared to no. 2 Diesel fuel, all vegetable oils are more viscous, while the methyl esters of vegetable oils are slightly more viscous. Biodiesel has become more attractive because of its environmental benefits. The cost of biodiesel, however, is the main obstacle to commercialization. With cooking oils as raw material, viability of a continuous transesterification process and recovery of high quality glycerol as a biodiesel by-product are primary options to be considered to lower the cost of biodiesel. Supercritical methanol has a high potential for both transesterification of triglycerides and methyl esterification of free fatty acids to methyl esters for diesel fuel substitute. In supercritical methanol transesterification method, yield of conversion rises 95% in 10 min. Viscosity of vegetable oils (27.2-53.6 mm2/s) get reduced in vegetable oil methyl esters (3.59-4.63 mm2/s). The flash point values of vegetable oil methyl esters are highly lower than those of vegetable oils. An increase in density from 860 to 885 kg/m3 for vegetable oil methyl esters increases the viscosity from 3.59 to 4.63 mm2/s.
Page(s): 858-865
ISSN: 0975-1084 (Online); 0022-4456 (Print)
Source:JSIR Vol.64(11) [November 2005]

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