Biodiesel Production from Consortium of Microalgae

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Addis Ababa University


The aim of the research work is to determine and analyze the factors that affect the yield of biodiesel production from algal biomass and to optimize the processing conditions. Microalgae oil was extracted from dried and grinded consortium microalgae through soxhlet extraction method and the physicochemical properties were determined. Design Expert 7.0.0 software application was used to statistically analyze data obtained from experimental work. The factors that affect the biodiesel yield were investigated. The density, viscosity, acid value, saponification value and free fatty acids were recorded as 0.94g/ml, 41.85mm2/s, 4.63mgKOH/g of oil, 201.72mg/g of oil, and 2.32% respectively. Alkali catalytic methanol transesterification method was employed to produce biodiesel from the oil and to improve the physicochemical properties of the oil. Temperature is found to be the factor that highly affects the yield of biodiesel. An optimum yield of 89.61% (44.8ml) biodiesel was obtained at reaction temperature of 53.270c, 1.99% catalyst and 6.18 alchol to oil molar ratio. The physicochemical properties of the optimum obtained biodiesl were determined and the results were compared with the ASTM and EN standards. The physicochemical properties were recorded as density (0.89g/ml), viscosity (5.5mm2/s), acid value (0.78mgKOH/g of oil), moisture content (0.026%w/w), ash content (0.022%), free fatty acid (0.39%). The results showed that the fuel properties are within the ASTM and EN standards and it suggests the potential of algal oil as a feedstock for biodiesel industry which could be exploited as an alternative source of fuel. Key Words: Biodiesel, Algal Biomass, Soxhlet Extraction, Transesterification & Physicochemical Properties.



Biodiesel, Algal Biomass, Soxhlet Extraction, Transesterification & Physicochemical Properties