Optimization of Biodiesel Production from Castor Oil Using a Microwave Via Response Surface Methodology (RSM)

Document Type: Research Article


1 Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


The purpose of this research work was to investigate the optimum operating conditions for biodiesel production from castor oil using a microwave. The Box–Behnken design of experiment was carried out using the Design Expert 7. A response surface methodology (RSM) was used to analyze the influence of the process variables (molar ratio of methanol to castor oil, catalyst concentration, reaction time, and microwave power) on the biodiesel yield. Optimizing biodiesel production reaction based on the yield of reaction by means of response surface method showed that 1.44 wt.% of catalyst concentration, 7.12:1 molar ratio of alcohol to oil, microwave power of 500 W and 120 seconds of reaction time produces the best results for maximizing the conversion percent. Finally, Biodiesel samples were analyzed with Gas Chromatography (GC) method for determination of fatty acid methyl ester yield. The yield of reaction obtained was 92.15% with above operating conditions and temperature of output flow was 58 oC.


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