HomeInternational Journal on Social Innovation & Researchvol. 7 no. 1 (2016)

Optimization of Reaction Time in Biodiesel Production from Waste Vegetable Oil

Chadwick Tan



Energy security is a vital issue that must be addressed by all energy driven economies. Te high cost of petroleum products and the inevitability of crude oil reserves being used up has forced scientists to look for alternative sources of fuel for the 21st century. Biodiesel is one of these possible substitutes because the source can be natural oils that are easily extracted from plants or waste vegetable oil (WVO) from food-related industries. Another benefit from this study is that environmental problems in the disposal of used oil (which can contaminate water systems) will be eliminated. In this study, waste cooking oil from a well-known food establishment was characterized by its physical properties and the optimum time for efficient biodiesel production was scrutinized. Biodiesel processing was stopped after 20 minute intervals: the first batch was stopped at 20, the second at 40, the third at 60, the fourth at 80, then 100, and 120 minutes. Biodiesel production was plotted over time and the graph showed a near-plateau around the 80 minute mark. Te incline between the 40 to 60 minute mark and between the 100 to 120 minute mark have the lowest value. Although, additional increase of biodiesel production was evident after 80 minutes, the amount of energy required to sustain the reaction may not be cost-effective in a biodiesel production facility. Further studies on efficiency of production and eventual set-up of a biodiesel pilot plant in SPUQC campus was recommended.