Potential of Ripe Plantain Fruit Peels as an Ecofriendly Catalyst for Biodiesel Synthesis

Anietie. O, ETIM ; Eriola, BETIKU ; Sheriff. O, AJALA ; Peter. J, OLANIYI ; Tunde. V, OJUMU (2/5/2018)

International journal of MDPI, p.1-15


The present work was aimed at assessing the possible use of ripe plantain fruit peel as a green-base catalyst in synthesizing Azadirachta indica oil methyl esters (AIOME). The free fatty acid content of the oil (5.81 wt %) was initially reduced to 0.90 wt % using methanol: oil at 2.19 v/v, Fe2(SO4)3 at 6 wt %, time of 15 min and temperature of 65 C. The pretreated oil was converted to AIOME in a transesterification process with calcined ripe plantain peel ash (CRPPA) at 700 C as catalyst. The process was modeled by artificial neural network and optimized using genetic algorithm. The effectiveness of the developed CRPPA is ascribable to its high K content and microstructural transformation. The reliability of the model obtained was confirmed with a high coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.996 and a low mean relative percentage deviation (MRPD) of 8.10%. The best operating variables combination for the process was methanol:oil of 0.73 v/v, CRPPA of 0.65 wt % and time of 57 min while the temperature was kept constant at 65 C with a corresponding AIOME yield of 99.2 wt %. The results of this work demonstrated the potentials of ripe plantain peels and neem oil as cheap feedstocks for biodiesel production