Microwave Irradiation Application in Biodiesel Production from Promising Biodiesel Feedstock: Microalgae (Chlorella protothecoides)
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Microwave irradiation effect on transesterification reaction of the new generation biofuel resource, microalgae, was studied. Experiments were conducted in order to evaluate the effects of reaction variables such as catalyst amount (1-1.5% w/w), oil:methanol molar ratio (1:6-1:10), and time (5-20 min) on methyl ester content of biodiesel. A comparative study on heating system was performed to show energy-efficiency of microwave-accelerated transesterification reaction. Suitable transesterification reaction conditions were determined as 65 degrees C, 1 wt.% KOH, 5 min, 1:8 microalgae oil:methanol molar ratio using microwave heating system. At these conditions fatty acid methyl ester content was determined as 96.54%. The results show that microwave heating has effectively reduced the reaction time from 210 min to 5 min.