This research focuses on the production of biodiesel from low cost feedstock such asMelothria madraspatana seed oil via MnCO3 catalyzed transesterification process at 60°C, investigating the effects of process parameters such as molar ratio of feedstock to methanol, catalyst quantity, and reaction time on biodiesel yield. The biodiesel was successfully produced via transesterification process from low cost feedstock. The optimum parameters for maximum biodiesel yields were found to be methanol/oil molar ratio of 5:1, catalyst concentration of 1 wt% of oil, and reaction period of 75 min. The maximum biodiesel yield at the optimum condition was 93%. The fuel properties of biodiesel from M. madraspatana seed oil were also investigated and compared with those of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) biodiesel standards. Crystalline manganese carbonate was found to be environmentally friendly, easy to handle and non-corrosive green catalyst for the production of biodiesel from M. madraspatana. The results demonstrated high potential of producing economically viable biodiesel from low cost feed stocks with proper optimization of the process parameters.
Key words: Biodiesel, Melothria madraspatana seed oil, MnCO3, fatty acid methyl esters, green catalyst
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