Production of Biodiesel Oil from Desert Dates (Balanites aegyptiaca) Seeds Oil Using a Hetrogeneous Catalyst Produced from Mahogany (Khaya senegalensis) Fruit Shells

Author(s): Dass PM, Louis H, Alheri A, Amos PI, Bifam M and Ago MA

Biodiesel is a renewable energy which is considered to be a pivotal solution to combating global warming and to stabilize the climate through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Desert date (Balanite aegyptiaca) seeds oil was used to produce biodiesel using a heterogeneous catalyst. Mahogany (Khaya senegalensis) fruit shells was physically activated and used as a catalyst. The physico-chemical analysis of the Balanite aegyptiaca seeds oil gave the oil yield of 49.9%, saponification value of 168.6 mgKOH/g, iodine value of 78.7 gl2/100 g, free fatty acid of 0.18 mg KOH/kg, specific gravity of 0.927 and non-drying oil. Spectroscopic analysis of catalyst was carried out in order to determine the different functional groups by Fourier Transform Infrared and to study the surface morphology by scanning electron microscope. Broad band at 3164.5 cm-1, very weak peaks at 2482.4 cm-1, 2117.1, 1871.1 cm-1 and 1561.8 cm-1, strong peak at 1408.9 cm-1, 872.2 cm-1 and 3164.5 cm-1 were revealed after physical activation. These peaks corresponded to C-H stretching, C-C stretching, C=O, N-H, C-O and C-H bending. SEM micrograph showed that the surface area was not smooth but comprised of some ridges, crakes and pores. Biodiesel yield was 80.0% with specific gravity of 0.88 and viscosity of 5.7 mm2/s. GC-MS showed the presence of different fatty acid methyl esters at different retention times. The presence of the various methyl esters showed that trans-esterification reaction is capable of synthesizing unique compounds and even constitutional isomers. This work concluded that Balanite aegyptiaca seeds oil is a good material for biodiesel production.

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