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Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030707

Potential of Ripe Plantain Fruit Peels as an Ecofriendly Catalyst for Biodiesel Synthesis: Optimization by Artificial Neural Network Integrated with Genetic Algorithm

1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife 220005, Osun State, Nigeria
2
Sustainable Energy Systems Engineering, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363, USA
3
Department of Chemistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife 220005, Osun State, Nigeria
4
Department of Chemical Engineering, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town Campus, Keizersgracht and Tennant Street Zonnebloem, Cape Town 8000, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 6 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catalysts for Biomass Conversion)
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Abstract

The present work was aimed at assessing the possible use of ripe plantain fruit peel as a green-base catalyst in synthesizing Azadirachta indica oil methyl esters (AIOME). The free fatty acid content of the oil (5.81 wt %) was initially reduced to 0.90 wt % using methanol: oil at 2.19 v/v, Fe2(SO4)3 at 6 wt %, time of 15 min and temperature of 65 °C. The pretreated oil was converted to AIOME in a transesterification process with calcined ripe plantain peel ash (CRPPA) at 700 °C as catalyst. The process was modeled by artificial neural network and optimized using genetic algorithm. The effectiveness of the developed CRPPA is ascribable to its high K content and microstructural transformation. The reliability of the model obtained was confirmed with a high coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.996 and a low mean relative percentage deviation (MRPD) of 8.10%. The best operating variables combination for the process was methanol:oil of 0.73 v/v, CRPPA of 0.65 wt % and time of 57 min while the temperature was kept constant at 65 °C with a corresponding AIOME yield of 99.2 wt %. The results of this work demonstrated the potentials of ripe plantain peels and neem oil as cheap feedstocks for biodiesel production. View Full-Text
Keywords: artificial neural network; biodiesel; heterogeneous catalyst; modeling; optimization; transesterification artificial neural network; biodiesel; heterogeneous catalyst; modeling; optimization; transesterification
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Etim, A.O.; Betiku, E.; Ajala, S.O.; Olaniyi, P.J.; Ojumu, T.V. Potential of Ripe Plantain Fruit Peels as an Ecofriendly Catalyst for Biodiesel Synthesis: Optimization by Artificial Neural Network Integrated with Genetic Algorithm. Sustainability 2018, 10, 707.

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