Website created by Colin Wood and Tristan Sandhu

Introduction

Humanity’s dependence on fossil fuel has come significantly into light in recent years, and an alternative for the future is needed. Ethanol has been introduced as a bio-friendly fuel alternative; however, corn seed is conventionally used to create the ethanol biofuels. Jatropha oil comes from a plant which is inedible to humans, poisonous in fact. Therefore, the production of biofuel from its seeds has no direct impact on the environment or humanity. The seeds are taken from the plant, which is left to produce more, and the consumption of these seeds does not take away from the food supply for mankind. The one problem with the Jatropha biofuel for use in colder climates is the fact that it starts to form a solid (gel) at a very moderate temperature, therefore preventing it from flowing through fuel lines and being burned in engines. The goal of this experiment is to determine the effectiveness of Jatropha seed oil as a biodiesel.

Transesterifiction is used to convert straight oils such as vegetable oil and animal oils into biodiesels. It is the process an alcohol and an ester exchange the alkoxy group to form a different alcohol and a different ester. This reaction takes place with an acid or base catalyst