Biodiesel is gradually being accepted worldwide as suitable alternative fuel for diesel engine. Rigorous purification is however required to meet the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and European Union (EU) standards for biodiesel because of unfavorable properties and the multitude of feed stocks with different properties that can be used. Two of such impurities that must be kept within limits are methanol and glyceride. Egunsi melon oil selected for the study was transesterified using sodium hydroxide as catalyst and methanol as reagent and then washed with distilled water. The fatty acid profile, the amount of methanol and glyceride in the oil, (B100) 100% biodiesel and, B10 (10% biodiesel blend with 90% diesel) and B20 (20% biodiesel blend with 80% diesel) were measured by Gas chromatography equipped with flame ionization detector. They were also characterized to determine their suitability for use in diesel engine. The triglycerides, free and total glyceride content of the oil are all outside the limits, while those of B100, B10, and B20 are within the limits. The measured fuel properties are also within the limits, hence egunsi melon oil biodiesel and blends can be used as alternative fuel for diesel engines without major modifications.
Key words: Egunsi melon oil, biodiesel, blends, methanol, glyceride.
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