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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: VEGETABLE OIL-BASED FUELS, ADDITIVES AND COPRODUCTS

Location: Bio-oils Research Unit

Title: Evaluation of Indian milkweed (Calotropis gigantea) seed oil as alternative feedstock for biodiesel

Authors
item Phoo, Zan Win Moh Moh -
item Razon, Luis -
item KNOTHE, GERHARD
item Ilham, Zul -
item Goembira, Fadjar -
item Madrazo, Cynthia -
item Roces, Susan -
item Saka, Shiro -

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 17, 2014
Publication Date: February 16, 2014
Citation: Phoo, Z., Razon, L.F., Knothe, G.H., Ilham, Z., Goembira, F., Madrazo, C.F., Roces, S.A., Saka, S. 2014. Evaluation of Indian milkweed (Calotropis gigantea) seed oil as alternative feedstock for biodiesel. Industrial Crops and Products. 54:226-232.

Interpretive Summary: Biodiesel is an alternative to diesel fuel obtained from petroleum. Vegetable oils such as soybean oil or other sources such as animal fats and waste frying oils are the most common feedstocks for biodiesel. There are not enough oils and fats available, however, for biodiesel to replace all diesel fuel obtained from petroleum. Therefore, oils that not have been commonly studied or used for biodiesel production are of significant interest. In this work, the seed oil of the Indian milkweed plant was used for producing biodiesel. The fuel properties were also studied. The results showed that biodiesel produced from Indian milkweed kenaf seed oil has acceptable fuel properties. Thus, this work expands the potential feedstocks for biodiesel by another possible source.

Technical Abstract: Calotropis gigantea (Indian milkweed) is a common plant in Asia that grows as a weed on open waste ground. Flowering and fruiting take place throughout the year. In this study, Indian milkweed oil was evaluated as a potential feedstock for biodiesel production. The oil was extracted from Indian milkweed seeds with hexane in a Soxhlet apparatus. The seeds were found to contain 33.3 wt% oil. The extracted oil was analyzed for the fatty acid profile and oil properties. Several previously unreported minor fatty acids were identified. Because the free fatty acid content in the oil was 27.5 wt%, acid catalyzed esterification was conducted to esterify free fatty acids and alkali-catalyzed transesterification was performed to produce biodiesel. The triglyceride content, diglyceride content, monoglyceride content, free glycerol, methanol, ester content, carbon residue, acid value, oxidation stability, tocopherol, water content, kinematic viscosity, density, cloud point, and flash point of the prepared biodiesel were determined. With the exception of oxidation stability, all fuel properties conformed to four standards: Philippine National Standard PNS2020:2003, Japanese Automotive Standards Organization JASO M360, European Standard EN 14214, American Society for Testing Materials ASTM D6751. However, it was found that this biodiesel can only be used in tropical countries due to poor cold flow properties.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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