Le Van Thuc , Luu Cam Loc , Ong Thi My Hien , Nguyen Van Dat * , Nguyen Quoc Chau Thanh and Ho Quoc Phong

* Corresponding author (nvdat@ctu.edu.vn)

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Fossil fuels are being depleted at an alarming rate. Alternative fuel sources such as biofuels seem to offer a promising solution to meet the energy demands. This research focuses on; (Phase 1) extracting oils from some biomass sources available in Vietnam, namely, Cashew nut, Castor seed, Makapuno coconut kernel, Calophyllum inophyllum seed, and Terminalia captappa seed, (Phase 2) converting oils to biodiesel using a transesterification process, and (Phase 3) evaluating the properties of resultant biodiesels and blends. Analysis of the physiochemical properties showed that the produced biodiesels can be the potential candidates for the feedstock in biodiesel production in Vietnam as they exhibited fuel properties within the limits prescribed by the latest ASTM, EN and JIS. However, Castor oil biodiesel is unsuitable in pure state for its direct use as fuel in internal combustion engines because its kinematic viscosity at 40oC is extremely high (20.76 mm2/s), exceeding by far the international standard upper limit (5.0 mm2/s). Thus, Castor oil biodiesel was blended with reference diesel at 5%, 10% and 20% on a volume basis (B5, B10, B20), respectively, and the quality was evaluated in terms of kinematic viscosity as well as the density at 18 oC, gross heating value, and copper strip corrosion for 3hrs at 50 oC. The results showed that physicochemical properties of the blends of Castor oil biodiesel and reference diesel were satisfactory according to international standards such as ASTM, EN and JIS.
Keywords: Biodiesel, biodiesel blend, Cashew, Castor, Makapuno coconut

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