Essay by atikah April 2014

download word file, 4 pages 0.0


Research question

Which type of vegetable oil which is palm oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil and canola oil will produce the highest energy content when it is converted to biodiesel?

Why I choose this topic and why it is worth investigating?

Biodiesel is an alternative fuel that is made by conversion of vegetable oil through the process of transesterification. The fuel that we know now is a non-renewable fuel which is limited and the world must be prepared to face the extinction of the fuel such as fossil fuel. Biodiesel is one of the way to replace the non-renewable fuel as it renewable and can be produced in a large yield. Therefore, for this experiment I would like to investigate which type of vegetable oil which is palm oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, canola oil and coconut oil that can produced a high energy content when it has been converted to biodiesel.

I hope through this, more experiment and investigation can be done in the future to test the efficiency of the particular vegetable oil that one day can replace the non-renewable fuel.

PART A : Conversion of Vegetable Oil to Biodiesel

The process of conversion of vegetable oil to biodiesel is through the process of transesterification. Transesterification is a process of using an alcohol (eg, methanol or ethanol) in the presence of catalyst such as sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide, to chemically break the molecule of raw vegetable oil into their methyl or ethyl esters with glycerol as their by-products.�

Fig 1 shows the transesterification reaction of vegetable oil with methanol and the presence of catalyst that produce the biodiesel and glycerol as the by-products.�

The formation of at least one ester depicted in Figure 1 above the figure, R is...