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Optimization of Biodiesel Production from Jatropha Seed-oil Using Microbial Lipase-catalyzed Transesterification Reactions

Filed in Biochemistry Project Topics, Current Projects by on September 21, 2020
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Optimization of Biodiesel Production from Jatropha Seed-oil Using Microbial Lipase-catalyzed Transesterification Reactions.


The environmental concern and diminishing reserves of fossil fuels has increased the demand for the study of biodiesel production. This study was undertaken to optimize biodiesel production from Jatropha seed-oil using microbial lipase-catalyzed transesterification reactions. Oils were extracted using Soxhlet extractor and the free fatty acids (%) were evaluated using Gas chromatography (GC).

The highest oil yield (>60%) was of Jatropha seed provenances from Kebbi (Wasugu Maga Danko), Zamfara (Dandotodaji Dandotodaji) and Kastina (Chanranchi Kuki) states. While the least oil yield (<30%) was from Sokoto (Shagari Kajiji), Jigawa (Birnin Kudu) and Zamfara (Magazu 2 Tsafe) states. The fatty acids found in both non-transesterified and the transesterified Jatropha seed-oil provenances were linoleic, oleic, palmitic methyl ester, and stearic acids as the dominant fatty acids in variable compositions.

Also, ecosanoic, palmitic and palmitoleic acids were the least fatty acids present. Fatty acid methyl esters in better composition were found in the transesterified Jatropha seed oil compared to those in the non-transesterified Jatropha curcas seed oil. The study revealed fatty acids profile which could be useful as feedstock for biodiesel and other industrial applications. It could also be concluded that transesterification of Jatropha seed-oil by enzymatic catalysis improved the quality of biodiesel production. 


Alternative fuel sources like bioethanol and biodiesel are being produced to combat the threats of global warming and high cost of fossil fuel. Emission of green house gases is on the increase everyday with rapid depletion of oil resources. Thus, biofuel like bioethanol provides numerous benefits in terms of environmental protection, economic development and national security (Arthe et al., 2008). Biodiesel is a variety of ester-based oxygenated fuels derived from natural renewable biological sources such as vegetable oil.

Through a process termed transesterification, in most developed countries, biodiesel is produced from rape seed, sun flower, soybeans, peanut which are essentially edible. More research is being geared towards finding an alternative renewable fuel through biological ways because of its positive environmental benefits (Bridgewater, 2006 and Arthe et al., 2008). Two approaches for transesterification of vegetable oils for the production of biodiesel have been suggested (Haas et al., 2002).

The first is a chemical one in which alcoholysis of oil by methyl or ethyl alcohol in the presence of a strong acid or base produces biodiesel and glycerol (Fukuda et al., 2001). Chemical transesterification is efficient in terms of reaction time; however, the chemical approach to synthesize biodiesel from triglycerides has drawbacks, such as difficulty in the recovery of glycerol and the energyintensive nature of the process.

The second approach is the enzymatic one, in which lipase-catalyzed transesterification is carried out in non aqueous environments. A number of plant species including Jatropha curcas L. are being established as feedstocks, but in the case of Jatropha the seed cake is toxic and can only be used as a less valuable fertilizer or combusted as a fuel (Jongschaap, et al., 2007). 


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CSN Team.

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