Rhizoclonium Grande Bioethanol in Biofuel Production by Transesterification of Jatropha curcas Oil
Kahindo, J. Mwangi
Chhabra, Sumesh C.
Ochieng, Odalo J.
MetadataShow full item record
There is a need for an alternative sustainable fuel based on renewable sources and efficient carbon dioxide scrubbers. Alkyl esters prepared by transesterification of vegetable oils from various plants have been evaluated. In this work the potential of sustainable macroalgae bioethanol in biofuel production by transesterification of Jatropha curcas oil was assessed. Rhizoclonium grande macroalgae was collected from Shimoni shores in Kwale, Shelly beach in Mombasa, Jamvi la Wageni in Mtongwe Likoni, English point near Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) Mombasa, dried and processed to obtain 5.36% ± 0.355% v/w bioethanol using Aspergilus niger for hydrolysis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae for fermentation. J. curcas seeds were collected from contracted farmers of Energy Africa in Shimba hills, Coast region. Oil from the seeds was machine cold pressed and solvent extracted using n-hexane giving 44% - 53%v/w yield. The physicochemical properties of the J. curcas oil were investigated. Transesterification of J. curcas oil was carried out using bioethanol from the algae with 63% - 70% FAEE yield. Characterisation of the bioethanol and ethyl esters was done using GCMS. Physicochemical and fuel properties of the biofuel were investigated at Technical University of Mombasa (TUM), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Government Chemist and Kenya Pipeline Laboratories in Mombasa. There was significant difference in physicochemical and fuel properties observed in density, calorific value, kinematic viscosity, pour point and cloud point between the Jatropha oil and Jatropha fatty acid ethyl esters (JAT FAEE) samples. No significant difference observed in the physicochemical and fuel properties between the JAT FAEE and standard biodiesel samples. This was according to statistical analysis of data done using STATA/SE 13.0 and Xlstat at 95% confidence level (P < 0.05) twotailed. From the findings bioethanol from R. grande biomass used in transesterification has a potential to improve the sustainability, physicochemical and fuel properties of biofuel from J. curcas a non-food crop. The effect of the use of bioethanol and its byproduct on shelf life of the biofuel can further be investigated.