Optimized Biodiesel Production and Emulsification of Pongamia Pinnata Seed Oil using Taguchi method

Hariram Venkatesan, Joshua L Fernandes, Jaganathan R, Seralathan Sivamani, Godwin John J


In the present investigation, two stage transesterification process of raw Pongamia oil with concentrated sulphuric acid, methanol and sodium hydroxide produced Pongamia pinnata seed biodiesel. The process parameters including the reaction time, reaction temperature, acidic concentration, base concentration and methanol to oil molar ratio were varied within the specified range to obtain maximum biodiesel yield. Methanol to oil molar ratio 7:1, reaction time 60 minutes, reaction temperature 70oC and catalyst concentration of 0.25% yielded 96% of biodiesel. Design of experiments based on four factor three level (L9) orthogonal array of Taguchi approach reduced the number of iterations from 81 to 9 in identifying the stable emulsified formulation of biodiesel, diesel and water with surfactant. Sample number 8 viz., D75-PBD20-W5-S6 emulsified fuel blend was found to be stable for more than fourteen days. Based on this Taguchi method, number of experiments and duration was significantly reduced in identifying the stable emulsified fuel blend which can be tested further in CI engine.        

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Pongamia oil; Biodiesel; Two stage transesterification; optimization; Taguchi method

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