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Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations and Symbols

1.1       Statement of Research Problem
1.2       Justification for Research
1.3       Aims and Objectives

2.1       Biodiesel as an Alternative to Petroleum Diesel
2.2       Performance Characteristics of Biodiesel
2.3       Biodiesel Storage Stability
2.4       Biodiesel Production
2.5       Optimization of Transesterification Process
2.5.1    Catalyst type and concentration
2.5.2    Effect of free fatty acid and moisture
2.5.3    Effect of reaction time and temperature
2.5.4    Mixing intensity
2.5.5    Molar ratio of alcohol to oil and type of alcohol
2.5.6    Effect of using organic solvents
2.6       Transesterification under different Conditions
2.7       Biodiesel Properties
2.7.1    Flash point
2.7.2    Viscosity
2.7.3   Cloud and pour point
2.7.4    Specific gravity
2.7.5    Calorific value
2.7.6    Sulphur
2.7.7    Cetane number
2.7.8    Carbon residue

3.1       Samples
3.2       Preparation of Solutions
3.2.1    Preparation of 1% v/v phosphoric acid solution
3.2.2    Preparation of 1 M sodium hydroxide solution
3.2.3    Preparation of 1M sulphuric acid solution
3.2.4    Preparation of 0.1M potassium hydroxide solution
3.2.5    Preparation of 0.8 % w/w sodium hydroxide solution
3.2.6    Preparation of 10 % potassium iodide solution
3.2.7    Preparation of 0.1N sodium thiosulphate solution
3.2.8    Preparation of 0.1M hydrochloric acid solution
3.3       Sample Collection and preparation
3.4       Extraction
3.5       Refining Process
3.5.1    De-waxing
3.5.2    Degumming
3.5.3    Neutralizing
3.6       Determination of Acid Value of the Oils
3.7       Determination of Percentage Free Fatty Acid Content
3.8       Transesterification
3.8.1 Acid esterification (Step I)
3.8.2    Alkaline transesterification (Step II)
3.9 Test Methods for Physico-Chemical Properties
3.9.1    Kinematic viscosity
3.9.2    Density/API gravity measurement
3.9.3 Acid value
3.9.4 Iodine value
3.9.5 Peroxide value
3.9.6 Pour point
3.9.7 Cloud point
3.9.8 Sulphur content
3.9.9 Water content
3.9.10 Saponification value
3.9.11 Refractive index
3.9.12 Free and total glycerin
3.9.13 Flash point
3.9.14 Distillation characteristics
3.9.15  Cetane index
3.10 Biodegradation Study of the Biodiesels
3.11Fuel Blends Preparation

4.0       RESULTS
4.1       Result of Phytochemical Properties
4.2       Result of
4.2.1 Result of acid esterification 4.2.2 Result of transesterification (Step II)
4.3       Result of Characterization of Biodiesel Produced
4.4       Effect of Blending on fuel properties of the Biodiesels
4.5       Result of Distillation of Yellow Oleander and Castor oil methyl esters
4.6       Result of Biodegradability studies of Biodiesel

5.1       Percentage oil yield
5.2. Physiochemical Properties of Yellow oleander and Castor oil
5.3       Process Optimization
5.3.1 Acid esterification (Step I)
5.3.2 Transesterification (Step II)
5.4       Characterization of Biodiesel produced
5.5       Effect of Blending on Fuel properties of the Biodiesels
5.6       Distillation Characteristic of the Biodiesels produced

6.1 Summary
6.2 Conclusio
6.3 Recommendations


The optimization of biodiesel production from two non-edible oils and studies of their fuel and biodegradability properties was carried out. The two oil feedstocks (Yellow oleander and Castor oils) were extracted from their seeds using an oil expeller and their physicochemical properties such as iodine value, moisture content, saponification value, acid value, viscosity, specific gravity and refractive index were determined. Most of these properties were within the acceptable limit of American Standard Testing Method (ASTM). The methyl esters were optimized using methanol as solvent and by varying conditions like reaction temperature, reaction time, type and concentration of catalyst, molar ratio of methanol and oil. For maximum bio diesel production, the transesterification reaction showed that the concentration of alkali catalyst was 0.8 % sodium hydroxide, 0.33 %v/v alcohol/oil ratio, 1 hr reaction time, 60 0C temperature and excess alcohol 150 %v/v. Optimized parameters for production of biodiesel through base catalyzed transesterification gave maximum yield of 96 % and 98 % for yellow oleander and castor oil respectively. The Yellow Oleander Methyl Ester (YOME) and Castor Oil Methyl Ester (COME) and their diesel blends were comparatively analysed for fuel properties such as flash point, relative density, kinematic viscosity, calorific value, distillation, sulphur, phosphorous, water content, cetane number and acid number . The methyl ester of yellow oleander was found to have properties closer to ASTM D 6751 fuel specifications than that of castor oil. It is further observed from the results that the biodiesel from yellow oleander and castor oil are environmentally friendly, such that after spillage, it will take about 28 days for them to have biodegradability of 82.4 and 87.3 for YOME and COME respectively. This is an advantage over petro-diesel which was found to have biodegradability of 25.29 in 28 days.


1.0              INTRODUCTION

The world energy sector depends on the petroleum, coal and natural gas reservoirs to fulfill its energy requirements (Meher et al., 2006). Nigeria is traditionally an energy-deficient country which exports above 70% of its crude oil production. The country is dependent upon import of petroleum products to sustain its growth. Diesel fuel plays an essential function in the industrial economy of Nigeria. The fuel is used in heavy trucks, city transport buses, electric generators, farm equipment etc. (Anjana, 2000). However, diesel engine also emits various forms of pollutants into the environment which can endanger human health and damage the ecological environment (Antolin et a.l, 2002). It is therefore essential that the world extend its interest towards new sources of energy. A relatively new alternative that is currently booming worldwide is fuel obtained from renewable resources or biofuel. Biofuels are well suited for decentralized development i.e can be utilised to meet the needs for social and economic progress, especially in rural communities where fossil fuels may be difficult or expensive to obtain (Nwafor and Nwafor, 2000; Ezeanyananso et al., 2010).

Amongst the various alternative fuels which could match the combustion features of diesel oil and can be easily adapted for use in existing engine technologies with or without any major modifications is biodiesel. Biodiesel fuel produced from vegetable oils (both edible and non edible) or animal fats is one of the promising possible sources that can be substituted for conventional diesel fuel and produces favourable effects on the environment. Biodiesel is recommended for use as a substitute for petroleum diesel......

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