Biodiesel Production from Azolla filiculoides (Water Fern)
Purpose: To assess the potential of Azolla filiculoides, total body collected from a rice farmn northern Iran as source for biodiesel production.
Methods: Solvent extraction using Soxhlet apparatus with chloroform-methanol (2:1 v/v) solvent blend as used to obtain crude oil from freeze-dried the Azolla plant. Acid-catalyzed transesterification was used to convert fatty acids (FA), monoglycerides (MG), diglycerides (DG) and triglycerides (TG) in the extracts to fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) by acid-catalyzed methylation. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) was employed to analyze the FAMEs in the macroalgae biodiesel.
Results: The presence of myristic acid (C14:0), palmitic acid (C16:0), palmitoleic acid (C16:1), myristic acid (C14:0), stearic acid (C18:3), oleic acid (C18:1) and linoleic acid 9C18:2), eicosenoic acid (C20:1), eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5), erucic acid (C22:1) and docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6) in the macroalgae biodiesel was confirmed.
Conclusion: The results indicate that biodiesel can be produced from macroalgae and that water fern is potentially an economical source of biodiesel due its ready availability and probable low cost.
Keywords: Biodiesel, Azolla filiculoides, Water fern, Fatty acid methyl esters