Biodiesel Production via Esterification of Free Fatty Acids from Cucurbita pepo L. Seed Oil: Kinetic Studies

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Author(s) I.M. Ogbu | V.I.E. Ajiwe
Pages 616-621
Volume 2
Issue 8
Date August, 2013
Keywords Biodiesel, Kinetics, Cucurbita pepo Seed oil, Esterification.

Due to high free fatty acid content of most traditional biodiesel feedstock, studies were carried out to optimize biodiesel production via esterification of free fatty acid from Cucurbita pepo seed oil. The experiments were carried out with methanol and butanol in a batch reaction system at 6:1 volume ratio of alcohol/FFA. H2SO4 was used as the catalyst. Various kinetic parameters such as quantity of catalyst, effect of stirring rate, reaction temperature and time were studied with aim of determining the best possible conditions. Attempt was made to fit our experimental data into first and second order kinetics to verify the best possible order of the reactions. Activation energy was determined by plot of InK versus 1/T. From the correlation coefficients (R2), the best kinetic model for our data appeared to fit first order for butylation and second order for methylation. Activation energies of 39.91KJ/mol and 35.54KJ/mol were determined for the butylation and methylation reactions respectively.

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