Optimizing the Transesterification Efficiency of Pumpkin Seed Bio-Oil through Response Surface Methodology Approach 2020-01-5048
Biodiesel production from Cucurbita pepo L. was explored in the present investigation. Bio-oil extraction from pumpkin seed was achieved using Soxhlet extraction method. Optimization of input process parameters for achieving the maximum pumpkin seed biodiesel (PkSBD) by a single-stage transesterification process using sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and methanol has been studied. A rotatable central composite design (RCCD) with 20 experimental trial runs was designed using Response Surface Methodology (RSM) to understand the interdependency between alcohol-to-bio-oil ratio, catalyst loading, and reaction duration. The developed model predicted maximum PkSBD at 0.84 v/v methanol-to-bio-oil ratio, 3.48 g/g catalyst loading, and 91.7 min reaction duration as 98.87%, and this was also validated experimentally. The physicochemical characterization was identified by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis, which revealed the presence of palmitic and linolenic acid in prominent proportions, and the properties fulfilled the requirement of global standards. Thus, producing biodiesel from pumpkin seed oil was found to be a viable option.