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ACID OIL REPORT

Aim:
To find out the feasibility of Acid Oil as a raw material for the production of biodiesel and to
compare it with waste vegetable oil in terms of yield and economics.

Motivation:
Till now we tried to produce Biodiesel from waste vegetable oil. Though the production of
biodiesel from this raw material is economic, collection and availability of WVO is still at its
nascent stage in our country. To make biodiesel production to be viable, alternate resources
which are economic, sufficient and readily available are to be identified. Acid Oil which is a
byproduct of vegetable oil refinery operations is cheap and readily available in market in
significant quantities as unutilized byproduct. It has the potential to replace waste vegetable
oil as a raw material for the production of biodiesel.

Theory:
Acid oil predominantly consists of long chain free fatty acid mixture (88%) along with small
amounts of mineral acids (1-2%), free moisture (5-8%), phospholipids and sterols (8-10%)
which all impart a characteristic pungent odor and dark brown colour to acid oil. Acid oil
because of its oxygenated nature and chain type of configurational compounds present has
fuel properties which are different than diesel fuel. Heating values are slightly lower while
viscosity and ignition values are higher than diesel fuel. If viscosity of biodiesel produced
from acid oil is reduced and brought closer to diesel fuel then it can also be used as an
alternate fuel to diesel fuel. Viscosity of oil is reduced through esterification process using
acid catalyst.

Procedure:
1. Preheat Acid Oil to around 500C to remove moisture content present in it.
2. Find out the Free Fatty Acid percent in the oil by taking 1-2 grams of oil, diluting
with neutralized ethanol and titrating it with NaOH solution of known concentration.
3. Take Methanol in a mole ratio of 1:30 with respect to FFA calculated in previous step
and 1% of H2SO4 by weight of oil. Perform esterification in the reactor by adding
Methanol and H2SO4 to the preheated oil.
4. Perform FFA analysis for each 30 minutes and continue esterification reaction until
the FFA content reaches 5%.
5. When the FFA is less than 5% then stop the reaction and put the reaction mixture for
settling in a settling funnel. Close the lid of the funnel and allow the reaction mixture
to cool down.
6. Separate the top and bottom layers and perform atmospheric distillation on the bottom
layer which contains biodiesel, methanol and other impurities to recover methanol.
7. Once methanol is recovered in the above step then perform vacuum distillation on the
remaining reaction mixture to get pure biodiesel.
Observations:
We started working with acid oil as a feed for the manufacture of Bio-diesel from Lab
run 4. We followed the same protocol as for the Waste Vegetable Oil feed. As no settling
occurred after trans-esterification, we realized that there is no TG present in Acid Oil feed
and trans-esterification is not required for it. From the next run onwards, only esterification
was performed. With various molar ratios of methanol to FFA, we observed the effect of the
amount of methanol taken for the reaction on final FFA content. We also performed two
stage esterification to find out its effect on final FFA content.

Varying mole ratios of Methanol to FFA


Run FFA to Methanol mole Initial FFA Final FFA Reaction Time
Number ratio Percent Percent (min)
5 1:30 59.03 4.40 180
6 1:25 45.60 6.34 210
7 1:20 44.92 6.69 210

Varying stages of esterification


Run Type of Initial FFA Final FFA Reaction Time
Number Esterification Percent Percent (min)
7 Single stage 44.92 6.69 210
8 Two Stage 45.93 5.93 230

Preheating of oil
Run FFA to Methanol mole Initial FFA Final FFA Reaction Time
Number ratio Percent Percent (min)
20 1:25 50.7 3.2 210

Results and Conclusion:


From the data for various ratios of Methanol to FFA it is observed that final FFA
content observed was around 6-7% in all these runs. So it is concluded that there is no
significant effect of methanol to acid ratio on esterification reaction. One more observation
was that there is a possibility of the bio-diesel formed getting back reacted to give FFA.
Because of this, the final FFA was not coming beyond 7%. So the next run was performed
with a two stage esterification by removing bio-diesel formed after first stage. Even this
process has given a final FFA of 6%. Next we thought of removal of moisture in feed which
may cause the back reaction bio-diesel. So in lab run 20 we preheated the feed and then
conducted the esterification reaction which gave a final FFA of 3%. So it is concluded that
preheating of oil is necessary to maximize FFA conversion to bio-diesel.