Proposal Essay

997 words - 4 pages

BIODIESEL : A FUEL FOR FUTUREResearch questionWhich type of vegetable oil which is palm oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil and canola oil will produce the highest energy content when it is converted to biodiesel?Why I choose this topic and why it is worth investigating?Biodiesel is an alternative fuel that is made by conversion of vegetable oil through the process of transesterification. The fuel that we know now is a non-renewable fuel which is limited and the world must be prepared to face the extinction of the fuel such as fossil fuel. Biodiesel is one of the way to replace the non-renewable fuel as it renewable and can be produced in a large yield. Therefore, for this experiment I would like to investigate which type of vegetable oil which is palm oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, canola oil and coconut oil that can produced a high energy content when it has been converted to biodiesel. I hope through this, more experiment and investigation can be done in the future to test the efficiency of the particular vegetable oil that one day can replace the non-renewable fuel.PART A : Conversion of Vegetable Oil to BiodieselThe process of conversion of vegetable oil to biodiesel is through the process of transesterification. Transesterification is a process of using an alcohol (eg, methanol or ethanol) in the presence of catalyst such as sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide, to chemically break the molecule of raw vegetable oil into their methyl or ethyl esters with glycerol as their by-products.Fig 1 shows the transesterification reaction of vegetable oil with methanol and the presence of catalyst that produce the biodiesel and glycerol as the by-products.The formation of at least one ester depicted in Figure 1 above the figure, R is a short chain hydrocarbon in the alcohol, R1, R2, R3 are fatty acid chain associated with oil or fat, which are largely palmitic, stearic, oleic and lin oleic acids for naturally occurring oil and fats. During the transesterification process, the triglycerides in vegetable oil or animal fats react with alcohol ( normally methanol or ethanol) in the presence of catalyst that has already been mixed with the alcohol to form alkyl esters (biodiesel) and glycerin.Materials and apparatus-lab balance-pipette-conical flasks-100 mL graduated cylinder-warm water bath (50oC)-100 mL of different vegetable oil (palm oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, coconut oil)-20 mL methanol-0.6g solid NaOH / 15mL of 1.0 moldm-3 of NaOHProcedurePrepare the water bath on 50oCMeasured 100 mL of vegetable oil, for example palm oil using a graduated cylinder and pour it into the conical flask labeled A.Placed the conical flask labeled A into the water bath.When the oil is warming, prepare 20 mL of methanol using a graduated measuring cylinder and pour it into a beaker.Weight 0.6g of solid NaOH / Measured 15 mL of 1.0 moldm-3 of NaOH using a measuring cylinder and pour it into the beaker containing methanol.Stir the mixture of methanol...

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