Turkish Journal of Chemistry




Biodiesel, fatty acid methyl ester produced by the transesterification of vegetable oil with methanol, is a promising alternative to petroleum-based diesel fuel. In the present study, the methanolysis of high free fatty acid (FFA) $Jatropha$ $curcas$ oil in a transesterification reaction using K$_{2}$CO$_{3}$/CaO solid base catalyst was studied. The various reaction parameters in the transesterification reaction were also discussed. The catalyst was characterized by means of Fourier transform infrared, X-ray diffraction, temperature programmed desorption of CO$_{2}$, scanning electron microscopy, particle size analyzer, true density, and surface area analyzer. The optimum conversion of jatropha oil was 92% when the transesterification reaction was carried out at 70 $^{\circ}$C with 10:1 molar ratio of methanol to oil at reaction time of 3 h and catalyst amount of 6 wt%. The efficiency of catalysts in the methanolysis of jatropha oil was also investigated.

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