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Optimization of biodiesel synthesis from Jatropha curcas oil using kaolin derived zeolite Na-X as a catalyst

Otieno, Stephen; Kengara, Fredrick; Kowenje, Chrispin; Mokaya, Robert


Stephen Otieno

Fredrick Kengara

Chrispin Kowenje


Biodiesel is an alternative renewable green fuel obtainable from the reaction of plant or animal oil with a low molecular weight alcohol in the presence of a catalyst. However, the cost of its production remains high due to costly feedstock, the majority of which is competitively also used as food, and the use of homogeneous catalysts, which pose difficulties in product purification and resulting environmental pollution. The aim of this study was to explore the production of biodiesel through transesterification of non-edible and cheap Jatropha curcas (JC) oil using a zeolite Na-X catalyst obtained from naturally occurring kaolin clay. The transesterification parameters, namely reaction temperature, reaction time, catalyst loading and methanol to oil molar ratio were optimized using the L16(44) Taguchi orthogonal array approach. The catalyst loading was found to be the most influential parameter at 93.79%. The optimum conditions for the conversion of JC oil, with a biodiesel yield of up to 93.94%, were found to be a methanol to oil molar ratio of 10 : 1, catalyst loading of 8%, reaction temperature of 70 °C and reaction time of 5 h. Fuel characterization parameters were within the European Norm (EN) 14214:2019 biodiesel specifications. Our findings offer insights into the ideal parametric conditions for the cost-effective synthesis of biodiesel from JC oil via zeolite-catalyzed esterification.


Otieno, S., Kengara, F., Kowenje, C., & Mokaya, R. (2022). Optimization of biodiesel synthesis from Jatropha curcas oil using kaolin derived zeolite Na-X as a catalyst. RSC Advances, 12(35), 22792-22805.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 28, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 15, 2022
Publication Date Aug 15, 2022
Deposit Date Aug 19, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 23, 2022
Journal RSC Advances
Electronic ISSN 2046-2069
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 35
Pages 22792-22805
Keywords General Chemical Engineering, General Chemistry
Public URL
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