Characterization and Experimental Analysis of Biodiesel Extracted from Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Fruit Using Catalyst

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Addis Ababa University


The investigation of indigenous resources as alternative energy is the reasonable solution for the diminishing of naturally existing materials for production of fuel from crude oil, environmental concern. Many researchers have been involved in producing a low-price fuel from naturally existing raw materials. Thus, in this specific work biodiesel production was examined from Marula seed. The seeds were collected from Arba Minch Nech Sar National Park and the seeds Proximate analysis has been conducted to determine moisture content, ash content, crude fiber content and fat contents. The result found was 5.90%, 4.27%, 11.84% and 47.66% respectively. The extraction of the oil was performed by solvent method using n-hexane as solvent through Soxhlet apparatus and fixing the extraction time. This study aimed to extract a biodiesel from sclerocarya birrea by examining the physio-chemical properties, and the biodiesel production was optimized for pre-determined parameters such as Catalyst Concentration (CC), Reaction Temperature (RT) and Methanol to Oil Ratio (MOR) by implementing Design Expert Software (DES). The optimum conversion efficiency of marula oil to Fatty Acid Methyl Ether (FAME) was 93.45% at optimal condition of 9:1 methanol to oil ratio for 1.75%of catalyst loading at 60oC of reaction temperature. The properties of sclerocaryabirrea which were determined exist in the recommended standards. The oil content of the seed was found 41.57%. The values of the physiochemical properties of the oil were viscosity 92.8mpas, specific density 0.923, acid value 7.51, Saponification value 229miligrams and free fatty acid 3.8% and the biodiesel were characterized as of its calorific value (CV) which was 42.56 MJ/Kg, viscosity of 11.3mpas, iodine value of 115 I2/gm, and flash point of 235oC. In this thesis work, it was concluded that Sclerocaryabirrea can be a possible input for biodiesel production which in turn minimize the dependency on fossil fuels.



free fatty acid, transesterification, Proximate analysis, Biodiesel