Energy consumption is on the rise due to rapid technological progress and a higher standard of living. The use of alternative energy resources is essential to meet the rising energy demand and mitigate the carbon emissions caused due to use of fossil-based fuels. Biodiesel produced from non-edible oils such as castor seed oil (CO) can be used in diesel engines to replace fossil diesel. However, the quality and yields for CO biodiesel is low due to the presence of ricinolic acid C18:1OH (79%). In this study, two-stage conversion techniques were used to improve the yields and properties of CO biodiesel. The catalyst CaCu(OCH3
was prepared from waste eggshell and synthesized with copper oxide in the presence of methanol. The castor oil was subjected to pyrolysis at 450–500 °C and then transesterified in the presence of modified catalyst. The reaction parameters such as methanol-to-oil ratio and catalyst and reaction time were investigated, and the optimum combination was used to produce castor biodiesel from pyrolysis castor oil. Results showed that the cetane number and oxidation stability were increased by 7% and 42% respectively. The viscosity, density, flash point, and iodine value were decreased by 52%, 3%, 5% and 6%, respectively. The calorific values remained the same. This study suggests that pyrolyzed castor seed oil followed by transesterification in the presence of a modified catalyst gave better fuel properties and yields than the conventional transesterification process for biodiesel fuel production.
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