keywords: Biofuel, fuel properties, quality, rubber seed oil, temperature, yield
In this study, the effect of transesterification reaction temperature on the yield and quality of biofuel produced from Rubber Seed Oil (RSO) was analyzed. A two-step transesterification procedure was carried out to convert RSO to its methyl ester. Temperature was varied during transesterification and biofuel produced was analyzed for selected properties and compared with ASTM standards. Experimental results showed that as the reaction temperature was increased from 40 to 60°C, the yield increased from 40.4 to 76.9%, the kinematic viscosity decreased, the density remained constant at 870 kg/m3; acid value increased from 0.35 to 0.48; calorific value was initially constant at 36.23 MJ/kg when the reaction temperature was increased from 40 to 45oC, and increased to 36.28 MJ/kg when the reaction temperature increased to 50oC and remained constant thereafter even when the reaction temperature increased from 50 to 60oC. The flash point of the biodiesel initially decreased as the reaction temperature was increased from 40 to 50oC. Thereafter, the value of flash point had a constant value as the reaction temperature increased from 50 to 60oC. These fuel properties were generally found to be within the standards specifications of ASTM.
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