Production And Characterization Of Biodiesel From Tiger Nut

Project and Seminar Material for Chemical Engineering

Production And Characterization Of Biodiesel From Tiger Nut


This study was carried out to assess the Production and characterization of biodiesel from tiger nut (Cyperus esculentus) oil. The oil was extracted from the tigernut by solvent extraction method using petroleum ether. The oil was trans-esterified using potassium methoxide at the temperature of 60ºC for 60 min at a catalyst concentration of 0.65% and under a constant stirring speed. The crude biodiesel obtained was purified by washing with water and subsequently dried in an oven. The biodiesel was again blended with petro- diesel to obtain various blends of B10, B20, B30 and B40. Oil and biodiesel yields were assessed while physicochemical analysis of the oil, biodiesel and blends were carried out using standard methods for physicochemical parameters including flash point, cloud point and pour point. Results obtained showed that the oil yield from the feedstock was 16%, while the biodiesel yield was 82%. The high and moderate flash points of the biodiesel and blends ranged between 90-178ºC, their cloud points ranged between 6.5-13ºC while their pour points ranged between -3-(-10)ºC. General results of the blends showed that B10 and B20 had performance results closer to petro- diesel and ASTM standards. Therefore, the blends, in addition to being good for biodiesel engines, would also be suited for engines not specifically designed for biodiesel use.

Table of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Biodiesel Over Fossil Fuel
  • 1.4 Tigernut
  • 1.5 Biodiesel Production
  • 1.6 Aims and Objective
  • 1.7 Significance of the Study

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Cyperus Esculentus, the Plant, Properties, and History
  • 2.2 Iron Fortification
  • 2.3 Accumulation Within the Plant
  • 2.4 Oil Applications
  • 2.5 Cultivars
  • 2.6 Uses

Chapter Three

3.0 Materials and Methodology

  • 3.1 Materials
  • 3.2 Oil Extraction
  • 3.3 Characterization of Oil
  • 3.4 Physicochemical Analyses
  • 3.5 Preparation of Potassium Methoxide
  • 3.6 Biodiesel Production And Purification
  • 3.7 Characterization of Biodiesel and its Blend

Chapter Four

4.0 Results and Discussion

  • 4.1 Results

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary and Conclusion

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • References

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Currently there is a strong interest in biodiesel, mainly driven by growing volatility in global crude oil markets and concerns over climate change and the desire to address the global risk. Biodiesel has proven to be a good substitute for petroleum diesel in motor vehicles and generators, when it meets the international standards such as ASTM for automotive use. Biodiesel is biodegradable, non-toxic and has low emission profiles when compared to fossil fuel and its usage will allow balance between agriculture, economic development and the environment [1]. Biodiesel is produced through a chemical process known as trans- esterification. Transesterification of vegetable oils with low molecular weight simple alcohols (methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol and amyl alcohol) has been established as the best option to reduce the high viscosity, low volatility, heavy engine deposits and toxic substance formation associated with the direct use of vegetable oils [2,3]. Tigernut is not really a nut but a small tuber that was discovered some 4000 years ago. It has been cultivated both as livestock feed and for human consumption. It is widely grown in Florida US, Spain, Britain, China, Mali and Ivory Coast. The plant is widely distributed in West Africa where it is cultivated mainly for the edible tubers which it bears underground [4]. In northern Nigeria, the tubers of tigernut can be bought in the market all year round.

Many research works have explored commercially edible oils like cotton seed oil, sun flower seed oil, soybean oil, peanut oil, coconut oil and palm oil as the feedstock for biodiesel [5,6], however, availability of these raw materials vary. Although tigernut oil is from an edible feedstock, its use as a potential feedstock for biodiesel production may not likely compete with its use as food since it is not a staple food or widely consumed [7]. Most parts of the tropics are suitable for biofuel crops cultivation including tigernut. This strategy to use crops of relative abundance in a particular region for biofuel production is effectively being employed in USA and Brazil as they are the world largest producers of bioethanol from Sugarcane and other raw materials [8]. Currently, tigernut use in Nigeria is mainly for production of milk juice and as snacks etc. However, the tuber can be used for other numerous purposes aside consumption as food. It has been reported to serve effectively as a supplementary feedstock for biodiesel production [9]. The high fibre content makes it useful for pyrolysis / gasification to biofuels, the moderate starch content also makes it a potential supplementary feedstock for bioethanol production [10]. The wastes emanating from its processing also makes it a veritable feedstock for biogas production under anaerobic digestion [10].

Some studies have been carried out on biodiesel production from tigernut. Barminas et al. [11], carried out preliminary studies on transesterification of tigernut (Cyperus esculentus) as a source of biofuel. Also, Ugheoke et al. [9] studied the optimization of the transesterification process of tigernut oil for biodiesel production, specifically to determine the optimal catalyst concentration level that gives maximum yield of methyl ester (biodiesel) from the oil. Again, Salau et al. [12] examined the proximate composition, food functionality and oil characterization of mixed varieties of tigernut rhizome flour and reported oil yields ranging between 25 and 34%.

Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended with petroleum diesel in any percentage. Most parts of the world use a system known as the ‘B’ factor to state the amount of biodiesel in any mix [13]. For instance, pure biodiesel is referred to as B100 while B20 is 20% biodiesel and 80% petro-diesel. However, taking U.S as a case study, biodiesel is mostly blended with diesel fuel. Such a blend would have better cold flow properties when compared with neat biodiesel. Consequently, blending biodiesel with petro-diesel may be advantageous for mitigating the poor cold flow properties of biodiesel from many lipid feedstocks. On the other hand, blending at higher ratios may compromise cold flow properties [14]. Biodiesel blends from 2 percent to 20 percent (representing B2 and B20 respectively) can be used in most diesel engines with minor or no modifications.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Depletion of fossil fuels, increasing in greenhouse effects and evolution in energy demands have led to the search for new alternatives to fossil fuels. Researchers proved that many sources of fossil-fuels around the world are nearly close to their maximum production. This simply means that fossil-fossil is not a sustainable source of energy and there is a limited supply of it (Sivalakshmi, 2011).The only solution to this issue was to look and develop alternatives sources of energy (biofuel). Among biofuels alternatives, biodiesel was found to be the most effective one. Many researches have studied on advantages of biodiesel as biofuel, its production and characterization.
Biodiesel is a biodegradable, environment friendly, renewable, energy efficient fuel that is used as a substitute of fossil fuel to solve the crisis in fossil fuel diminution and environmental degradation. It is known that biodiesel has ability to be used as pure (Vijayan V, 2013). However, due to the current concerns on the environment; properties of biodiesel have to be improved in order to reduce problems related to its fuel properties. Because of this, recent researches are not only interested in biodiesel production, but maximization of the biodiesel quality and characteristics.

Therefore, in this project, we will look at how biodiesel properties can be improved. Recent researches have proved that compounds which contain oxygen in their structure can be used to improve the properties of biodiesel. Oxygenates are among the compounds with oxygen in their chemical structure.

1.3 Biodiesel Over Fossil Fuel

Currently, production of biodiesel is getting much consideration worldwide. This consideration is due to the fact that it is non-toxic, biodegradable and produces less emission of particulates to the atmosphere. It was reported that any fatty acid sources such as vegetable oil or animal fat oil can be used to produce biodiesel (Elkady, 2009).
It was confirmed that biodiesel is more environmental friendly than fossil fuel. Due to the current issue of climate change, today’s world is more caring on environment. To use biodiesel effectively, its environmental hazards have to be minimized as much as possible, as well as its heat content as an alternative source of energy has to be improved. To match these requirements, oxygenates were found to play such roles (Barminas JT, 2013)

1.4 Tigernut

Tigernut oil is a type of oil extracted from tigernut seed. Tigernut was discovered 400 years ago and since then it has been used as human consumption and livestock. Tigernut (plant of Cyperus esculentus) can be found in almost every part of Nigeria. This plant is now cultivated in Northern Nigeria and it can be found in the markets throughout the year. It is known in Nigeria as Aya in Hausa, Ofio in Yoruba and Akihausa in Ibo. It can be found in three different varieties (black, brown and yellow). Yellow variety is the most preferable one because it can be gotten in bigger size and attractive color. Tigernut has many applications including flavoring agent, in ice cream making and others. Most importantly, its composition such as high fiber and starch content makes it to be a good feedstock for biodiesel production. (Gambo, 2014).

1.5 Biodiesel Production

Biodiesel is produced by the reaction of transesterification. Transesterication is the process whereby fat or oil reacts with an alcohol in the presence of a base catalyst to form the mixture of esters and glycerol. The presence of excess alcohol as catalyst drives the production of large amount of biodiesel. After the production of methyl ester and glycerol, the next step is filtration where upper layer is collected as methyl ester and lower layer is glycerin. Biodiesel produced contains much content of alcohol and base. Therefore, this biodiesel must be washed with hot water to obtain pure biodiesel (Singh Yadav, 2013)

1.6 Aims and Objective

In this project, a different biodiesel is synthesized from a different vegetable oil by solvent extraction method using ethanol as a solvent. The biodiesel is synthesized from tiger oil. The research will also look at the essential fuel properties of biodiesel such as density, flash point, viscosity, and acid number. In essece, the Production and characterization of biodiesel from tiger nut will ve carried out.

1.7 Significance of the Study

The purpose of this research is to develop new alternative source of energy (biofuel). This research is also designed to upgrade biodiesel by improving its properties (Viscosity, heat content). Additionally, this project will compensate for energy consumption and protection of environment by using clean fuels. All these aims will be achieved by using oxygenates as additives to improve biodiesel properties.

This study therefore aimed to determine the fuel quality of biodiesel produced from methyl esters of tigernut (Cyperus esculentus). This was also done in order to determine the most suitable blending ratio for biodiesel produced from tigernut seed oil with petro-diesel and also determine if higher blending ratios differ considerably in quality from lower blending ratios.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary and Conclusion

5.1 Summary

This study has shown that the addition of oxygenates such as methanol, ethanol and diethyl ether has a significant effects on Tiger Oil Methyl Ester physiochemical properties such as density, specific gravity, kinematic viscosity, heat content and Flash point. The results obtained showed that the increase in percentage of oxygenates ethanol, methanol and diethyl ether reduce kinematic viscosity, density, specific gravity, flash point and it increase heat content. The density and specific gravity decrease with the increase in ratio of oxygenates and this is an advantage. Diethyl ether was found to be effective oxygenate than methanol and ethanol because it reduces the density of both Neem and Tiger biodiesel to match the ASTM standards of biodiesel. The Kinematic viscosity of blended biodiesel was found also to be relatively low and it is an advantage too. The heat content of Neem and Tiger biodiesel were found to be in range of ASTM. Tiger oil Methyl Ester was found to have more heat content than Neem Oil Methyl Ester. For flash point, TOME flashed at higher temperature than NOME. In summary, the addition of oxygenates improves the quality of biodiesel. Based on obtained results, the addition of diethyl ether at ratio of 70:30 improves the properties of biodiesel to meet that of ASTM biodiesel.

5.2 Conclusion

The study has shown that tigernut is a good supplementary feedstock for biodiesel production. The results of the blends of the petro-diesel with tigernut biodiesel showed that B10 and B20 had results closer to B100 and to the ASTM standards and would give better performance than B30 and B40. Therefore, the blends, in addition to being good for biodiesel engines, would also be suited to engines not specifically designed for biodiesel use. This compares very well with biodiesel from other oil sources. Even though tigernut oil is edible oil, the crop is not consumed on a large scale as a staple food and it is not also a major source of edible oil, so it would be advisable if countries in the tropics including Nigeria consider the cultivation of this crop on a large scale. If this is achieved, it would facilitate the use of tigernut for biodiesel production on a large scale and hence alleviate the global concern for food security.

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