Jatropha Curcas

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Jatropha curcas is a small oleaginous fruit bearing tree from the Euphorbiaceae family that thrives in warm weather and can grow in any barren soil without care and manuring. It is easy to establish, grows relatively quickly and lives, producing seeds for 50 years. It is non-edible variety of crop with remarkable toxicity. High toxicity in it is due to the presence of trypsin, curcin (a lectin), flavonoids, phorbol esters makes it unsuitable for human or animal consumption. Furthermore its ability to withstand periods of drought, naturally repel pests, and grow in subprime soil makes it a great candidate for combating soil erosion and
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Currently, biodiesel is much more expensive than petroleum diesel, the major reason for that is high price of the purified feedstock. Commercially, most of the biodiesel currently synthesized utilizes edible grade feedstocks such as soybean oil in Brazil, rape seed oil in Europe and United States, palm oil in Malaysia and Indonesia, -depending on the relative abundance of the feedstock. The value of soybean and palm oil as a food product makes production of a cost effective biofuel very challenging. However, there exist many low cost resources such as waste cooking oil, animal fats and non-edible vegetable oil such as Jatropha curcas that could be transformed into biodiesel. The problem associated with processing these low-cost raw materials is that they often contain large amounts of free fatty acids (FFAs), moisture and solid residues that cannot be converted into biodiesel using an alkaline catalyst. They need to be pretreated and purified; making the process more expensive. In order to overcome these problems solid acid/base catalysts were attempted in current studies to synthesize biodiesel from crude Jatropha oil. Complete life cycle of Jatropha from plant to biodiesel is shown in Figure 6.2. (Deng, Fang and Liu,…show more content…
The typical reaction of transesterification was carried out in a 50 ml round bottom flask, attached with reflux condenser over magnetic stirrer. Jatropha oil and methanol were added in required molar ratios and heated at set reaction temperature. After attaining the reaction temperature catalyst was added to reaction mixture and time was noted as reaction start time. Stirring speed was maintained at 1000 rpm to keep system uniform in temperature and suspension. After the reaction is completed, the product mixture was rotary evaporated to separate methanol and methyl esters. The FAME yield was then analyzed over GC-MS (Agilent 7890) system with HP-5 capillary
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