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Characterization of pure plant oil and biodiesel from <i>Jatropha curcas</i> and <i>Thevetia nerifolia</i> seed

FF Akinyele


The problems associated with long term availability of conventional hydrocarbon fuels for automotive engines, and the continuous emission of combustion pollutants into the environment are cause for concern. These has necessitated the need to investigate the performance of plants oil methyl ester. Hence this study investigates the characteristics of pure plant oils (PPO) of Jatropha curcas and Thevetia nerifolia ; biodiesel produced from them at different methanol/ oil ratio. The percentage oil and biodiesel yield; pH, Specific gravity, viscosity and flash point for both PPO and biodiesel were determined. The result of this study showed that the pH value for PPO of Jatropha is slightly alkaline, Thevetia slightly acidic and their mixture very acidic. The biodiesel yield at ratio 1:5 is the best for this study in terms of yield of about 91%, 82% and 70% on average for Jatropha curcas, Thevetia nerifolia and mixture respectively. The viscosity of the biodiesel ranged between 1.2mm/s2 and 6.44 mm/s2. Therefore, the limited fuel characterization carried out demonstrated that the biodiesel produced can be considered as an alternative environmentally-friendly fuel for diesel engines

Keywords: Transesterification, Viscosity, Flash point PPO.