Standardization of Process Parameters for Neem Oil & Determination of Properties for Using as a Fuel
Authors: Suman Singh1* ,P.K.Omre1, Kirtiraj Gaikwad2
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Studies on the exploration of alternate fuels obtained from renewable sources of energy to supplement conventional fossil fuels are being carried out throughout the world. The edible and non edible oils are being tried to either supplement or to replace diesel as fuel in CI engines. India is the net importer of edible oils and, therefore, emphasis is being laid to explore the possibility of using non-edible oils or their esters to be used in diesel engines alone or blended with diesel.
A study was, therefore, undertaken to standardize ethyl esterification process parameters of raw Neem oil, comparing characteristic fuel properties of different blends of Neem oil ester with ethanol and use of the blends as a constant speed CI engine fuel. Raw Neem oil was esterified with methyl alcohol to obtain Neem methyl ester having lowest possible kinematic viscosity. The process parameters such as alcohol, catalyst concentration and reaction temperature were standardized to obtain higher recovery of esters. The characteristic fuel properties such as kinematic viscosity, relative density, gross heat of combustion, cloud and pour point, flash and fire point, carbon and ash content and total acidity of diesel, raw Neem oil, its methyl and ethyl ester and blends methyl ester with ethanol were compared.
The recovery of Neem methyl ester of lowest kinematic viscosity (6.65 cS) with 84 percent recovery was possible at the following standardized parametric conditions: Main Transesterification Process: Molar Ratio (6:1),Type of Catalyst (KOH) ,Concentration of Catalyst (2%), Reaction Temperature (650c),Reaction Time (60min), Setting time (24h). The relative density of the Neem oil used in the experiment was 6.07 percent higher than that of diesel, whereas the Neem methyl ester of 6.65 cS viscosity has the relative density 2.57 percent higher than the diesel. The cloud and pour point of diesel used in the experiment were 4.20C and 1.50C respectively and raw Neem oil had the cloud and pour point of 190C and 30C respectively. The cloud point was observed 4,18,20,21,22 and 230C and the pour point as 6.0,7.0,8.0,9.0,10.0 and 5.0 for NME90E10, NME80E20,NME70E30,NME60E400,NME50E50 and NME100 respectively. The flash and fire point of diesel used in the experiment were observed as 54.3 and 59.40C respectively where as for Neem oil these values were 152 and 1590 respectively. The blends of Neem methyl ester-ethanol were blends found to have lower flash and fire point than diesel.