Prospective Feedstock for the Production of Biodiesel in India

Saroj K. Padhi*, A. Kiran Kumar and R.K. Singh

Department of Chemical Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela-769 008, India

*Corresponding author: E-mail:


Biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester) which is derived from triglycerides by transesterification with methanol has attracted considerable attention during the past decade as a renewable, biodegradable and non-toxic fuel. Several processes for biodiesel fuel production have been developed, among which transesterification using alkali as catalyst gives high level conversion of triglycerides to their corresponding methyl ester in a short duration. This process has therefore been widely utilized for biodiesel fuel production in a number of countries. In the present studies, the properties of edible oils like soybean, sunflower, mustard, palm, cotton seeds and non-edible oils like karanja and jatropha have been determined by suitable standard methods. Refined edible oils, whose acid values were less than 3 were transesterified with methanol in the presence of sodium methoxide as catalyst. But the non-edible and raw karanja and jatropha oils having acid values more than 3.0 were esterified followed transesterified. The methyl esters produced by these methods were analyzed to ascertain their suitability as diesel fuels.


Vegetable oils, Esterification, Transesterification.

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  • Asian J. Chem. /
  •  2012 /
  •  24(9) /
  •  pp 3791-3796