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A biodiesel production plant comprising of a reaction chamber, centrifuge, evapouration tank and reservoir tank was designed, fabricated and evaluated.
The plant is powered by a 1hp (0.746kw) electric motor which drives the reactor stirrer and a 5hp (3.728kw) electric motor which drives the centrifuge.
Three electric pumps of 0.12hp (0.092kw) each were used as the reactor, centrifuge and evapourator pumps respectively, while two electric heaters of 1.34hp (1kw) each are used to heat the oil in the oil tank and evapourator respectively.
The developed plant has an efficiency of 82.68%.
Optimal centrifuge speed and reaction time were determined as 1990 rpm and 50 minutes.
The biodiesel produced from this plant has kinematic viscosity, specific gravity, flash point, fire point, cloud point and pour point of 5.995, 0.882, 2110C, 2380C, 3.60C and 2.50C respectively which are in line with the specifications recommended by ASTM D6751 and EN 14214 standards for biodiesel.
The plant which was fabricated with locally sourced standard materials will produce biodiesel that will serve as suitable alternative/blend for petroleum based diesel from waste cooking oil (WCO) and other non-edible oils.
Engr Nwogu Chukwunonso is currently doing his P.hD program in Mechanical Engineering (Automated Design and Manufacturing) at Federal University of Technology, Owerri-Nigeria.
He holds a Masters degree (M.Eng) and B.Eng degree in Mechanical Engineering (Design and Production Engineering) from Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike-Nigeria.
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