Physicochemical Assessment of Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) Seed Oil as a Viable Feedstock for Biodiesel Production
Biodiesel is a renewable and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels which is derived from vegetable oils and animal fats. This paper presents the prospect of Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) seed oil, as a feedstock for biodiesel production because of its suitability for production in a variety of atmospheric condition, easy cultivation, high-fruit production rate, and low cost of cultivation. In this study, C. pepo L. seeds were collected, processed, and oil was extracted from the seeds by mechanical extraction process. The important physical and chemical properties of the extracted seed oil were experimentally analyzed. Fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) of the seed oil was produced corresponding to ASTM standards. The quality of biodiesel produced was assessed in terms of the physicochemical properties e.g., density, viscosity, heating value, flash point, acid value, and pour point, which are considered as the most important properties of a fuel for its application in C.I engines. The experimental findings of this study reveal that C. pepo L. seed can be a suitable feedstock for biodiesel production in commercial scale.
KeywordsBiodiesel Cucurbita pepo L. Oil extraction Physicochemical properties
The authors would like to express their thanks to Mr. Debarshi Baruah, Technical Officer, Centre for Energy, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IITG) for the technical and laboratory support and Mr. Neelkamal Basumatary of AdtU for his valuable contribution.
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