Physico-Chemical Properties of Biodiesel from Jatropha and Castor Oils

Aldo Apita Okullo, A. K. Temu, P. Ogwok, J. W. Ntalikwa


Biodiesel is becoming prominent among the alternatives to conventional petro-diesel due to economic, environmental and social factors. The quality of biodiesel is influenced by the nature of feedstock and the production processes employed. High amounts of free fatty acids (FFA) in the feedstock are known to be detrimental to the quality of biodiesel. In addition, oils with compounds containing hydroxyl groups possess high viscosity due to hydrogen bonding. American Standards and Testing Materials, (ASTM D 6751) recommends FFA content of not more than 0.5% in biodiesel and a viscosity of less than 6 mm2/s. The physico-chemical properties of jatropha and castor oils were assessed for their potential in biodiesel. The properties of jatropha and castor oils were compared with those of palm from literature while that of biodiesel were compared with petro-diesel, ASTM and European Standards (EN14214). Results showed that high amounts of FFA in oils produced low quality biodiesel while neutralized oils with low amounts of FFA produced high quality biodiesel. The quality of biodiesel from jatropha and castor oils was improved greatly by neutralising the crude oils.


Feedstock; Biodiesel; Physco-chemical Properties; Transesterification

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