In this study, the work done on the extraction of oil from fluted pumpkin (Telfairia Occidentalis Hook F.) seeds, its transesterification methyl ester (biodiesel) and characterization is reported. The oil was extracted in a soxhlet extractor using normal hexane as solvent. The oil properties were measured and the free fatty acid was 3.59 mg KOH/g which is high for alkaline transesterification hence the oil was neutralized with hydrochloric acid before transesterification using with 3 g of sodium hydroxide per litre of methanol as catalyst and methoxide/oil in the volume ratio of 6:1. Gas chromatography analys is shows that the oil and its methyl ester contains primarily the short chain fatty acids oleic (C18:1), linoleic (C18:2). The fuel properties were evaluated following the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) methods for biodiesel. The fuel properties are very close to those of diesel fuel hence can be used as alternative fuel for diesel engines. Of particular importance is the high flash point which makes it a safe fuel and the low pour point will allows it to be used in cold climate.
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[v1] 2012-08-19 09:07:43
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