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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2020.299
Potential of Carica papaya peels as effective biocatalyst in the optimized parametric transesterification of used vegetable oil
A.O. Etim1, Andrew C Eloka-Eboka2, and P. Musonge3
1Department of Chemical Engineering, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
2chool of Chemical and Minerals Engineering, North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
3Institute of Systems Science, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
Corresponding Author: Andrew C Eloka-Eboka ,Tel: +27738257444, Email: fatherfounder@yahoo.com
Received: June 3, 2020;  Accepted: September 4, 2020.
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This study investigates the effectiveness of a base heterogenous catalyst derived from waste Carica papaya peels in the transesterification of used vegetable oil (UVO). The calcined Carica papaya peels (CCPP) were characterised using scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The EDX result indicated that the ash contains various minerals with potassium (K) as the main active element in responsible for the charge of the high catalytic activity. Response surface methodology (RSM) based on the Box Behnken design (BBD) was used to optimised and investigate the effect of the critical process parameters which include: the reaction time (50 – 70 min), catalyst loading (2.5 – 4.5 wt%) and methanol-to-oil molar ratio (9:1 – 15:1). The optimal reaction condition for the transesterification process was found to be catalyst loading of 3.5 wt%, methanol/oil molar ratio of 12:1, process reaction time of 60 min at constant reaction temperature of 65 oC which resulted in the maximum biodiesel yield of 97.5 wt%. The quality of the produced biodiesel was in agreement with ASTM standards. The catalyst was reused up to three times with minimal decrease in the catalytic activity in the biodiesel conversion. The study demonstrates the potential of waste biomass feedstocks in the production of sustainable biodiesel fuel.
Keywords: Biodiesel | Carica papaya peels | Heterogeneous catalysts | Optimization used vegetable oil
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