Production of Biodiesel Fuel from Oleic Acid and Comparison of its Properties with Petroleum Diesel


Biodiesel define as the mono-alkyl esters of vegetable oil and animal fats is an alternative diesel fuel that is steadily gaining attention because the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas has been identify as a major cause of the increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere and causing global warming. The present work concerns with estimating the physical properties experimentally such as kinematic viscosity, density, flash point and carbon residue of biodiesel that produced by the esterification reaction of methanol and oleic acid with homogeneous catalysts H2SO4 in a lab-scale packed reactive distillation column using the best operating conditions of methanol to oleic acid 8:1, catalyst amount 1.8 g sulfuric acid/g oleic acid, time 57 min and reaction temperature 130°C that obtained from studying different variables such as molar ratio of methanol to oleic acid 4:1, 6:1 and 8:1, amount of catalyst 0.6, 1.2 and 1.8 g sulfuric acid/g oleic acid, reaction time 36, 57 and 75 minutes, and reaction temperature 100oC, 120oC and 130oC. The physical properties of biodiesel from the present work compared with those of ASTM (American Standard for Testing Material) standard for biodiesel, previous work and petrol diesel, from the results the biodiesel obtained can be used as alternative to diesel.