As a fossil fuel reserve diminishes, alternative fuel sources have to be found. Hence, researchers studied cotton and palm kernel seeds to measure its’ oil content.
Seed Particle Size (cotton seeds and palm kernel seeds) determined the oil content in the seed to produce biodiesel by reactive reaction and biodiesel conversion. The study used reactive extraction in which the biodiesel was produced directly from the seed particles.
Studies carried out on biodiesel production using cotton seed as the raw material discovered that biodiesel from cotton seed could lower carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and smoke emission in internal combustion engines. The cotton seed oil contains 70% of unsaturated fatty acids including monosaturated oleic acid and diunsaturated linoleic acid making it suitable for biodiesel production. This method was influenced by many parameters one of which was the seed particle size. Hence, the effects of particle size on oil content, extraction efficiency of reactive reaction and biodiesel conversion was investigated to determine the highest percentage of biodiesel production. The size of the seed particles selected for this study were in the size range of between 0.5 to 7 mm for cotton seeds and between 4 to 15 mm for palm kernel seeds.
The study revealed that the smallest particle size (0.5 – 1 mm) for cotton seeds resulted in the highest amount of oil extracted as well as yielded a high percentage of extraction effectiveness. Alternatively, for palm kernel seeds, the smallest particle size yielded the highest percentage of oil extracted within a 24 hours reaction time.
The study concluded that an increase in seed particle size resulted in a decrease in the percentage of oil content, extraction efficiency and biodiesel conversion, as smaller particle size with larger surface area assisted both extraction and reaction, produced higher percentage of biodiesel. Therefore, for optimum production of biodiesel, the reactive extraction method is dependent on the seed particle sizes in which smaller size particles can be used in the reaction to produce higher percentage of biodiesel.
Faculty of Chemical Engineering