Biodiesel is a clean and renewable fuel, which is considered as the best alternative to diesel fuel, but the feedstock contributes more than 70% of the cost. The most important constituent essential for biodiesel development is to explore cheap feedstock with high oil content. In this work, we found novel non-edible plant seeds of Koelreuteria paniculata
(KP) with high oil contents of 28–30 wt.% and low free fatty acid contents (0.91%), which can serve as a promising feedstock for biodiesel production. KP seed oil can convert into biodiesel/fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) by base-catalyzed transesterification with the highest biodiesel production of 95.2% after an optimization process. We obtained the optimal transesterification conditions, i.e., oil/methanol ratio (6:1), catalyst concentration (0.32), reaction temperature (65 °C), stirring rate (700 rpm), and reaction time (80 min). The physico-chemical properties and composition of the FAME were investigated and compared with mineral diesel. The synthesized esters were confirmed and characterized by the application of NMR (1
H and 13
C), FTIR, and GC-MS. The biofuel produced from KP seed oil satisfies the conditions verbalized by ASTM D6751 and EN14214 standards. Accordingly, KP source oil can be presented as a novel raw material for biofuel fabrication.
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