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Producing Renewable Biodiesel Fuel Using the Transesterification Process

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DOI: 10.4236/wjet.2015.33C016    3,688 Downloads   4,036 Views  

ABSTRACT

Biodiesel fuels are considered an alternative to fossil fuels. This is one of the effective means of transferring solar energy to dynamic energy via photosynthesis. It is also being considered in order to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide production worldwide. Biodiesel fuels are a renewable, biodegradable, and clean energy source. Producing enough biofuels to replace fossil fuels will bring the advantages of reduced air pollution and reduced other environmental impacts of fossil fuels. In this study, the response surface methodology (RSM) was used to design the experimental runs and to discuss the manufacturing variables on the transesterification of palm oil into fatty acid methyl ester (i.e. biodiesel fuel). The variation of the degree of effect for each variable in the transesterification process was observed. A second-order model was obtained to predict the yield of biodiesel fuel and the viscosity as a function of the reaction time, the mass fraction of catalyst in methanol and the molar ratio of methanol to plant oil. The experimental data of the yield and the viscosity of biodiesel fuels in different manufacturing variables are discussed in this study. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was also applied to discuss the main factor and interaction factor effects of the manufacturing variables on the responses of the yield of unrefined biodiesel fuels. The shortage of farmland in Taiwan is a problem that needs to be solved before mass propagation of biofuels can be accomplished. In southeastern Asia, there are many farms and most energy farm products are cultivated (e.g. palm oil or Jatropha oil). In addition to sunflowers and soybeans in Taiwan, those energy farm products are possible choices for production of biodiesel fuel in Taiwan. The cooperation between Indonesia and Taiwan on the plantation of palm or Jatropha trees in Indonesia has conducted and will be one of the possible ways to solve the problem of the shortage of energy farm products in Taiwan.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Chung, T. and Chen, Y. (2015) Producing Renewable Biodiesel Fuel Using the Transesterification Process. World Journal of Engineering and Technology, 3, 105-110. doi: 10.4236/wjet.2015.33C016.

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