Investigation of Cucumeropsis mannii N. seed oil as potential biodiesel feedstock
AbstractBiodiesels fuels are being explored worldwide as alternatives for fossil fuels. The seeds of “Werewere” (Cucumeropsis mannii N., Cucurbitaceae) a fruit vegetable plant in Ghana with high oil content were analysed for their fatty acid composition as well as fuel properties to ascertain their potential as biodiesel fuel. The seeds contained 37.15% oil. The extracted seed oil by GC/MS analysis consisted of mainly linoleic acid (18:2) accounting for 58.8% of the total fatty acids. Other fatty acids detected were oleic acid (C18:1), stearic acid (C18:0) and palmitic acid (C16:0,) with contribution of 15.5, 14.1 and 11.5% respectively. Among the fuel properties measured were density (889.9 kg/m3), cetane number (57), flash point (155oC) and pour point (-3oC). The measured fuel properties of the fatty acid methyl ester of the oil were comparable to both the ASTMD 6751 and the EN 14214 biodiesel standards. Fuel properties were essentially identical with those of soybean, safflower, sunflower and “egusi” biodiesel. The Kinematic viscosity was however measured to be 15. mm2/s a value higher than most biodiesel fuels reported in the literature.
Keywords: Renewable energy, biodiesel, vegetable oil, transesterification, fatty acid methyl ester.
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