BIODIESEL PRODUCTION FROM FLUTED PUMPKIN (TELFAIRIA OCCIDENTALIS) SEED OIL THROUGH KOH-CATALYSED TRANSESTERIFICATION REACTION
The global energy concern on the availability of recoverable fossil fuel reserves and the environmental problems caused by the extensive consumption of those fossil fuels, has called on considerable attention to biodiesel production as an alternative to Petro diesel worldwide. In this research the seed oil of Fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis) was investigated for its viability as a feedstock for biodiesel production. The oil was extracted from the seed using petroleum ether and on a dry matter basis and found to be within 51-53%. The oil quality parameters of the seed oil were; iodine value (IV), 98.4g iodine/100g oil, peroxide value (PV), 40meq peroxide/kg oil, acid value (AV), 11.78mg KOH/kg oil, saponification value (SV), 105.19meqKOH/kg oil, free fatty acid (FFA), 5.92% of oil, specific gravity (SG), 0.90g/ml oil and kinematic viscosity, 21.21mm2/s at 30°C. The oil was transesterified using methanol and potassium hydroxide with a yield of 87.2% wt biodiesel. Fuel tests on the Telfairia occidentalis seed oil methyl ester gave a high cetane number, 62.3 and a high flash point of 174°C. Other fuel properties of the biodiesel determined were cloud point, pour point, kinematic viscosity, density and calorific value and the results were; 3°C, -5°C, 2.35mm2/s, 859kgm-3 and 12017J respectively. The same tests were conducted on diesel D2 which was used as a standard and the results obtained were as follows; flash point, 140°C, cloud point, 0°C, pour point, -2°C, kinematic viscosity, 2.65mm2/s, density, 835kgm-3 and calorific value, 12188J. The results obtained for the biodiesel was also compared with the American and European standards for biodiesel (ASTM D6751 and EN14214) and with other investigated oils from literature and were found to fall within acceptable limits, implying that Telfairia occidentalis seed oil methyl ester could be used alone or as blends with diesel D2 in diesel combustion engines in tropical climates like Nigeria.