Author(s): Rashid U, Anwar F, Moser BR, Knothe G
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Abstract Biodiesel is an alternative to petroleum-based conventional diesel fuel and is defined as the mono-alkyl esters of vegetable oils and animal fats. Biodiesel has been prepared from numerous vegetable oils, such as canola (rapeseed), cottonseed, palm, peanut, soybean and sunflower oils as well as a variety of less common oils. In this work, Moringa oleifera oil is evaluated for the first time as potential feedstock for biodiesel. After acid pre-treatment to reduce the acid value of the M. oleifera oil, biodiesel was obtained by a standard transesterification procedure with methanol and an alkali catalyst at 60 degrees C and alcohol/oil ratio of 6:1. M. oleifera oil has a high content of oleic acid (>70\%) with saturated fatty acids comprising most of the remaining fatty acid profile. As a result, the methyl esters (biodiesel) obtained from this oil exhibit a high cetane number of approximately 67, one of the highest found for a biodiesel fuel. Other fuel properties of biodiesel derived from M. oleifera such as cloud point, kinematic viscosity and oxidative stability were also determined and are discussed in light of biodiesel standards such as ASTM D6751 and EN 14214. The 1H NMR spectrum of M. oleifera methyl esters is reported. Overall, M. oleifera oil appears to be an acceptable feedstock for biodiesel.
This article was published in Bioresour Technol
and referenced in Medicinal & Aromatic Plants