Volume 2 Number 6 (Nov. 2012)
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IJBBB 2012 Vol.2(6): 441-444 ISSN: 2010-3638
DOI: 10.7763/IJBBB.2012.V2.151

Preparation of Biodiesel from Sunflower Oil by Transesterification

M. Thirumarimurugan, V. M. Sivakumar, A. Merly Xavier, D. Prabhakaran, and T. Kannadasan

Abstract—The objective is to convert waste sunflower oil used for domestic purposes such as cooking oil into biodiesel using an alkali catalysed transesterification process. Sunflower is one of the leading oil seed crop, cultivated for the production of oil in the world. Biodiesel is gaining more and more importance as an attractive fuel due to the depleting fossil fuel resources. Chemically biodiesel is monoalkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from renewable feed stock like vegetable oils and animal fats. It is produced by transesterification in which, oil or fat is reacted with a monohydric alcohol in presence of a catalyst to give the corresponding monoalkyl esters. This article reports experimental data on the production of fatty acid methyl esters from sunflower oil using sodium hydroxide as alkaline catalyst. The variables affecting the yield and characteristics of the biodiesel produced from these vegetable oils were studied. The variables investigated were reaction time (1–3 h), catalyst concentration (0.5–1.5 w/wt%), and oil-to-methanol molar ratio (1:3–1:9). From the obtained results, the best yield percentage was obtained using a methanol/oil molar ratio of 6:1, sodium hydroxide as catalyst (1%) and 60 ± 1 °C temperature for 1 hour to 3 hours. The biodiesel samples were physicochemically characterized. From the results it was clear that the produced biodiesel fuel was within the recommended standards of biodiesel fuel. It has also been considered as an important crop for biodiesel production. The process involves heating of oil, followed by titration, then settling and separation and finally washing. Base catalyzed transesterification process is applied for optimum yield (80%) of biodiesel. It was concluded that sunflower oil is one of the option for biodiesel production at a large scale depending on its mass cultivation.

Index Terms—Sunflower oil, transesterification, biodiesel.

The authors are with the Department of Chemical Engineering, Coimbatore Institute of Technology, Coimbatore-641014, India (e-mail: thirumarimurugan@gmail.com, vmsivakumar@gmail.com, merlyxavier10 @gmail.com, dprabhakaran68@gmail.com, tkannadasan56@yahoo.com).

Cite: M. Thirumarimurugan, V. M. Sivakumar, A. Merly Xavier, D. Prabhakaran, and T. Kannadasan, "Preparation of Biodiesel from Sunflower Oil by Transesterification," International Journal of Bioscience, Biochemistry and Bioinformatics vol. 2, no. 6, pp. 441-444, 2012.

General Information

ISSN: 2010-3638 (Online)
Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Biosci. Biochem. Bioinform.
Frequency: Quarterly 
DOI: 10.17706/IJBBB
Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Ebtisam Heikal 
Abstracting/ Indexing:  Electronic Journals Library, Chemical Abstracts Services (CAS), Engineering & Technology Digital Library, Google Scholar, and ProQuest.
E-mail: ijbbb@iap.org
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