Studies on Lagenaria Breviflora Seed Oil for its Potentials as Feedstock for Fatty Acids Methyl Esters Production in Nigeria
AbstractThe utilization of energy has risen to 12 billion tons/year due to the ever-increasing population and urbanization which has directly led to more energy demand. Therefore, there is an obvious need for an alternative source of fuel energy. One of the best alternatives is the use of renewable fuel energy. Fatty acids methyl esters (biodiesel) is a source of a renewable fuel energy that is produced from biomass by different technologies such as direct blending of oil, emulsification, pyrolysis, and transesterification. This research studied the potentials of the seed oil of Lagenaria Breviflora for fatty acids methyl esters production. The oil was extracted using Soxhlet extractor with n-hexane as a solvent, esterified and then transesterified to methyl esters. The results obtained showed that the oil has high acid value of 26.16 mgKOH/g, which indicated high free fatty acid content and the percentage yield of the biodiesel produced was 89.32%. Fuel properties (colour, density, flash point, cloud point, pour point, kinematic viscosity and specific gravity) determined showed compliance with American Standard Testing and Material (ASTM) and European standard specifications. The GC-MS profile of methyl esters showed that unsaturated oleic acid methyl ester was dominant. The results suggested that Lagenaria Breviflora seed oil possesses some properties that are suitable for biodiesel production.
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