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Byline: Syed Yasar Hussain, S. H. Javed, Sidra Jabeen and Amna Akhtar

ABSTRACT: In this work the Melia Azedarach Seed oil was extracted using an organic solvent which is n-hexane. The extracted oil was having total oil contents of 30 %..The Trans esterification experiment was performed using sodium hydroxide as Catalyst and 6:1 methanol to oil ratio with reaction temperature of 45 C. The biodiesel produced was of reasonably good quality with conversion of 77%.

After the experiment different properties like Viscosity, density, cloud point, flash point, acid no, iodine no, oxidation stability and moisture contents were evaluated by using standard ASTM methods.

Keywords: Biodiesel, Melia Azedarach, Fats and Oil.


Biodiesel can be defined as a biofuel that has come out as second choice for us to conventional petroleum product [1]. It is the "trans-esterification product of Oils and Fats using an alcohol and a catalyst such as an acid, base or enzyme [3]. Biodiesel is the simplest alternative that is found suitable for the replacement of petroleum diesel and the biggest advantages are its renwability, usability in existing compression engines as well as its more environmentally friendly than petroleum diesel. Biodiesel, which is a strong competitor of current fossil fuels that can be produced on small scale by individuals and is inexpensive as compared to petroleum diesel [4]. With lo w price tags individuals can save and can even go in thousands. With such huge saving most people are able to collect and get back their initial investment early. This trend is compelling many individuals to start producing this econo mical fuel.

While considering the major factors that caused increased demand of such fossil fuels, Industrial sector and basic transportation are biggest consumers of energy. T he Transportation sector is placed in first as major user of these petroleum products like diesel, LPG, and gasoline. The Increasing demand in transport fuels like petrol and diesel has been observed in the last decade. Expectations are there that this trend will last for several years as the no of vehicles are being increased day by day thus causing increased demand of these fuels [4]. Biodiesel production is very new and advanced research area for scientists and researchers as an alternative fuel for existing co mpression ignition engines called diesel engines due to increased demand and rapid increase in prices of diesel fuels [4]. Biodiesel can be produced by many renewable sources like vegetable oil, animal fats and non- edible oils as well.

If we consider the cost factor for biodiesel production there would surely be a question mark as currently the prices for production of such fuels are not lo w and reasonably high, but there are certain other factors which compels us to seek and search for these fuels [4]. Ho wever the biodiesel production cost can be decreased by emplo ying lost cost feedstock such as animal fats and naturally occurring crops like Neem, Bakain and others which are gro wing on roadsides and open areas and doesn't need fertile land and abundant use of water. The name Biodiesel was first utilized in the United States of America during year 1992 by the national biodiesel board [5], which is the pioneer in the commercialization of Biodiesel in the United States.

Most Important is that Biodiesel can be used in any mixture with petroleum diesel as it has very similar characteristics to diesel fuel but it has lo wer exhaust emissions than petroleum diesel. [6] Biodiesel has much improved and better properties than that of petroleum diesel such as renewability, biodegradability, non- toxicity, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics [6]. Biodiesel has emerged as more attractive fuel in the recent past because of its environmental friendly characteristics and fact that it is made fro m renewable sources. [6] One of T he raw materials being used commercially b y the Biodiesel are the edible oils derived from rapeseed, soybean, palm, suno wer, coconut, linseed, etc. In recent years, research has already carried out for biodiesel production fro m non- edible oils like Neem, Bakain, and Jatropha etc. [6]. Biodiesel is kno wn in good words for its renewability [6].

If we produce a fuel from a crude oil that is finite it wouldn't be renewable. Biodiesel can be referred as renewable as it can be produced fro m sources like organic oils, fats, tallo ws and others. Renewable means that biodiesel can be made fro m materials that are able to be regro wn and reused. T he more crops you gro w the more sources you get to produce biodiesel. Most important thing is environment [6]. When biofuels such as biodiesels are used in existing compression ignition engines the emission contents of harmful gases are much reduced. T hese toxic and dangerous gases like Carbon Dioxide, Carbon particulate matters (black particles co ming out of diesel engine exhaust) are massively decreased and reduced. T he more biodiesel is produced, lesser the load is on crude oils when biodiesel is used instead of petro diesel.

This will certainly reduce the load on fossil fuels uses and will help us to make focus on renewable source of such fuels. Many alternative fuels requires slight changes for using them in engines, like changes in fuel injection system when compressed natural gas is used.Similarly electricity requires a different engine. Sometimes the change in the engine is mandatory, once engine is changed for alternative fuel run we cannot go back to use previous fuel [7].

MATERIAL AND M ETHODS Materials and Reagents:

Melia Azedarach seeds were collected fro m the different sources, Faisalabad, Pakistan. n-hexane and methanol were purchased from LAB-SCAN Analytical sciences (Dublin, Ireland), sodium and potassium hydroxides, sodium thiosulphate and anhydrous magnesium sulphate were procured from Merck (Darmstadt, Germany) while glyceryl tripalmitate, glyceryl tristearate, glyceryl trioleate and glyceryl trilaurate (all E 99%) were purchased from Fluka (Steinheim, Germany). The solvents that were of analytical grade were used without further purification.

Extraction of oil:

First of all the M. Azedarach seeds werecollected,cleaned, dried and crushed manually to separate the seed kernals. Oil was extracted using a soxhlet apparatus by emplo ying n- hexane as a solvent (12 hr). After that extract was filtered and solvent w evaporated using a rotary evaporator. T he M. Azedarach seed oil was then degummed b y using deionized water.

Bio Diesel Production:

The Extracted oil was first heated up to 60oC in a round bottom flask and specific amount of methanol and sodium hydroxide was added in it and it was refluxed for1hr, along with stirring at 700 rpm. After this the resulting mixture was allowed to stand for a few minutes in a separating funnel in order to separate two layers. T he upper layer was that of BD and lower of glycerin. BD was separated from the Lo wer layer and washed thrice with deionized water in order to purify it fro m the residual Co mponents and was then dried over Sodium Sulphate follo wed by oven [8,11].

Determination of the general properties:

The Oils (edible and non-edible) are characterized by their properties. T here are some properties which lie in different ranges. Kinematic viscosity of vegetable oils lie in range of 30-40 cSt at 40 C. T hese much higher viscosities are due to large sizes and greater no of carbon atoms and greater molecular masses along with chemical structure. When fatty acids of oils and fats are converted into biodiesel using trans-esterification their properties seems to be very close or in some cases better than diesel fuels for use in diesel engines because the product formed after trans- esterification consists of high viscosity. T he molecular weights of vegetable oils lie in the range of 600-900 which are obviously more than three time greater than naturally occurring diesel fuels. [10].

Similarly by reviewing literature we found that cloud point as well as pour point of these oils are higher than that of petroleum diesel. While measuring the characteristics and properties of biodiesel, which we produced earlier from the Melia Azedarach Seed oils [13] we come to kno w that these are very close to petroleum diesel fuel. [9]. That's why biodiesel is a strong contender in replacing the conventional diesel fuel than can be used in existing Co mpression engines. When Trans-esterification process takes place the triglyceride molecular weights, viscosities are reduced. T hus it increases the volatility of fuels produced. T he viscosity values of biodiesel are very close to diesel fuel. [10].

Biodiesel has no sulphur or minimum sulphur contents. [10]. T he general properties like density, viscosity, cloud point, flash point, cetane number, moisture contents and pH were evaluated with the help of Certain ASTM Standards. After conducting the research experiment different samples of biodiesel were used to evaluate different general properties as described earlier. AST M methods D445, D664, D2500, D93 and D130, respectively, and were co mpared with Standards. [10].

Table 1: BioDiesel Properties

Property [12] Value###Range

(EN 14214)

Density 40 oC (g/cm3)###0.89###0.86-0.8 9

Viscosity at 40 oC###4.8###3.5-5.0

Cloud Point###less than -12###-


Flash Point###122###>120

Acid###Number###(0.44###less than 0.5


Iodine Number###110###less than 120


Oxidation Stability 110###4.7###>6


The Oil Contents of Melia Azedarach Seed are quite reasonable. About 77 % of Conversion of oil into biodiesel was found which sho wed that oil is converted into Biodiesel after trans- esterification with methanol and sodium hydroxide.


All results were co mpared with EN 14214 European Quality Standards for biodiesel. It was found that all result were about in the range of standard values. T hus the final product Biodiesel which was prepared was able to be used in Diesel engines without any kind of modification. T he experiment was performed at different parameters.

Reaction Temperature v/s Conversion: T he experiment was performed at different reaction temperatures and conversion was noted in each case. It can be seen in the graph that the maximum conversion of oil into biodiesel is observed as 45 oC.

Reaction Time v/s Conversion

Similarly the experiment was performed at different reaction time and conversion was observed. It can be seen in the graph plotted that the maximum conversion is achievable when the reaction time is 45 minutes.

Molar Ratio v/s Conversion

Again the experiment was performed using different molar ratios of methanol to oil. Different methanol to oil ratios like 1:1, 6:1, 9:1 were used in the experiment.

It can be observed fro m the graph that the conversion is maximum when methanol to oil ratio 6:1 used. The Cetane Number was evaluated 51 which is associated with quality of burning of fuel which was according to American and European Standards set for Biodiesel. Fats and Oils consists of triglycerides. Triglycerides can be thought of more than three fatty acids that are linked to glycerol by fatty acyl esters. These fatty acids contain long chains of hydrocarbons that contain COOH group, Carboxylic group. Further they are classified into saturated and unsaturated depending upon Carbon to Carbon bond.

The Iodine number is associated with the unsaturation of the fuel and also tells us about its oxidation stability [17]. T he Iodine number evaluated was 110 that was within the upper limit of EN 14214.Higher will be the iodine number will lessen its stability against oxidation thus will lessen the quality of fuel Similarly the acid number [15] was evaluated which tells us about the free fatty acid contents in the fuel. Acid Number determines the free fatty acid contents in the fuel.

Acid number value must be low otherwise soap may be formed in the product

The Flash point evaluated was > 122 which was in acceptable limit to EN 14214 standards of biodiesel. [19] Flash point is the temperature that varies indirectly with fuel stability. Greater the flash point lesser will be the stability of the fuel.


The Resulting produced biodiesel was of good quality and had resemblance in many properties with petroleum diesel. The maximum conversion of oil into biodiesel was compared with different parameters at which the experiment was performed It can be seen that conversion varies with reaction temperature. Optimum Conversion is obtained at 45 C which is about 77%. Similarly the best molar ratio of methanol to oil is 6:1 which leads to maximum biodiesel production.


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[11]. Ramadhas,A.S., Muraleedharan, C., Jayaraj,S. Biodiesel production technologies and substrates. Hand book of plant based biofuels. Ed. Ashok Pandey, CRC Press, Taylors and Francis Group,USA, 2009

[12]. Demirbas, A. Relationships derived from physical properties of vegetable oil and biodiesel fuel, vol 87,1743-1748, 2008

[13]. Ashwani Kumar and Sataywati Sharma," Potential non edible oil resources as biodiesel feedstock: An Indian prospective, Renewable andSustainable energy reviews, vol 15(4),1791-1800, 2011

[14]. ASTM Standard E203, 2008, "Standard Test Method for Water Using Volumetric Karl Fischer Titration," ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2008.

[15]. ASTM Standard D664, 2009, "Standard Test ethod or Acid Number of Petroleum Products byPotentiometric Titration," ASTM International, West onshohocken, PA, 2009

[16]. ASTM D445, 2006, "Standard Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids (and Calculation of Dynamic Viscosity)," ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2006.

[17]. EN 14112:2003, "Fat and oil derivatives - Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) Determination ofoxidation stability) (accelerated oxidation test),"2003.

[18]. ASTM Standard D6751, 2009, "Standard Specification for Biodiesel Fuel Blend Stock (B100) for Middle Distillate Fuels," ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2009

[19]. ASTM Standard D93, 2008, "Standard Test Methods for Flash Point by Pensky- Martens Closed Cup Tester," ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2008
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Publication:Science International
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Date:Aug 31, 2016

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