Green Chemistry – Biodiesel – Chemistry Project

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Bio diesel

S.No. Contents II Page No.
I. Introduction 3
II. Requirement 7
III. Experiment 1 8
IV. Requirement 9
V. Experiment 2 10
VI. Precaution 11
VII. Bibliography 11


Green chemistry is the branch of chemistry concerned with developing processes and products to reduce or eliminate hazardous substances. One of the goals of green chemistry is to prevent pollution at its source, as opposed to dealing with pollution after it has occurred.

Principles of Green Chemistry


It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it has been created.

Atom Economy

Synthetic methods should be designed to maximize the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.

Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses

Wherever practicable, synthetic methods should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.

Designing Safer Chemicals

Chemical products should be designed to effect their desired function while minimizing their toxicity.

Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries

The use of auxiliary substances (e.g., solvents, separation agents, etc.) should be made unnecessary wherever possible and innocuous when used.

Design for Energy Efficiency

Energy requirements of chemical processes should be recognized for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimized. If possible, synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure.

Use of Renewable Feed stocks

A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting whenever technically and economically practicable.

Reduce Derivatives

Unnecessary derivatization (use of blocking groups, protection, temporary modification of physical/chemical processes) should be minimized or avoided if possible because such steps require additional reagents and can generate waste.


Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric reagents.

Design for Degradation

Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they break down into innocuous degradation products and do not persist in the environment.

  1. Real-time analysis of Pollution Prevention

Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time, in-process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous substances.

  1. Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention

Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen to minimize the potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions, and fires.

Bio-diesel is an eco-friendly, alternative diesel fuel prepared from domestic renewable resources i.e. vegetable oils (edible or non- edible oil) and animal fats. These natural oils and fats are made up mainly of triglycerides. These triglycerides when raw striking similarity to petroleum derived diesel and are called “Bio-diesel”. As India is deficient in edible oils, non-edible oil may be material of choice for producing bio diesel . For this purpose Jatropha curcas considered as most potential source for it. Bio diesel is produced by transesterification of oil obtains from the plant. Jatropha Curcas has been identified for India as the most suitable Tree Borne Oilseed (TBO) for production of bio-diesel both in view of the non-edible oil available from it and its presence throughout the country. The capacity of Jatropha Curcas to rehabilitate degraded or dry lands, from which the poor mostly derive their sustenance, by improving land’s water retention capacity, makes it additionally suitable for up-gradation of land resources. Presently, in some Indian villages, farmers are extracting oil from Jatropha and after settling and decanting it they are mixing the filtered oil with diesel fuel. Although, so far the farmers have not observed any damage to their machinery, yet this remains to be tested and PCRA is working on it. The fact remains that this oil needs to be converted to bio-diesel through a chemical reaction – trans-esterification. This reaction is relatively simple and does not require any exotic material. IOC (R&D) has been using a laboratory scale plant of 100 kg/day capacity for trans-esterification; designing of larger capacity plants is in the offing. These large plants are useful for centralized production of bio-diesel. Production of bio-diesel in smaller plants of capacity e.g. 5 to 20 kg/day may also be started at decentralized level.


  1. Eye protection
  2. Access to a top pan balance
  3. One 250 cm3 conical flask
  4. Two 100 cm3 beakers
  5. One 100 cm3 measuring cylinder
  6. Five plastic teat pipettes
  7. Distilled or deionised water
  8. 100 cm3 vegetable-based cooking oil
  9. 15 cm3 methanol (highly flammable, toxic by inhalation, if swallowed, and by skin absorption)
  10. 1 cm3 potassium hydroxide solution 50% (corrosive).


  1. Measure 100 cm3 of vegetable oil into the 250 cm3 flask. Weigh the flask before and after to determine the mass of oil you used.
  2. Carefully add 15 cm3 of methanol.
  3. Slowly add 1 cm3 of 50% potassium hydroxide.
  4. Stir or swirl the mixture for 10 minutes.
  5. Allow the mixture to stand until it separates into two layers.
  6. Carefully remove the top layer (this is impure biodiesel) using a teat pipette.
  7. Wash the product by shaking it with 10 cm3 of distilled or deionised  water.
  8. Allow the mixture to stand until it separates into two layers.
  9. Carefully remove the top layer of biodiesel using a teat pipette.
  10. Weigh the amount of biodiesel you have collected and compare it to the amount of vegetable oil you started with.


  • Eye protection
  • Small glass funnel (approximately 7 cm diameter)
  • One 250 cm3 flask
  • Two boiling tubes
  • One two-hole stopper to fit the boiling tubes
  • Filter pump
  • A piece of wide bore glass tubing approximately 10 cm long with two one-hole stoppers to fit
  • A piece of vacuum tubing approximately 35 cm long
  • Two short pieces of glass tubing to fit the one-hole stoppers
  • 5 cm glass bend to fit the two-hole stopper
  • 90o glass bend to fit the two-hole stopper (one leg to extend to bottom of flask)
  • Two stands and clamps
  • Two small metal sample dishes
  • A little sodium hydroxide solution 0.1 mol dm-3 (irritant)


  1. Pour 125 cm3 of distilled water into the 250 cm3 flask and add 10 cm3 of universal indicator. Add one drop of 0.1 mol dm-3 sodium hydroxide solution and gently swirl the flask so that the colour of the solution is violet or at the most basic end of the universal indicator colour range.
  2. Place 10 cm3 of this solution into the boiling tube.
  3. Assemble the apparatus illustrated in Figure 1, attaching it to the filter pump with the vacuum tubing.
  4. Place 2 cm3 of biodiesel onto a wad of mineral wool in the metal sample cup.
  5. Turn on the water tap so the filter pump pulls air through the flask and ignite the biodiesel. Position the funnel directly over the burning fuel, so as to capture the fumes from the burning fuel.  Mark or note the position of the tap handle so you can run the pump at the same flow rate later in the experiment.
  6. Allow the experiment to run until the universal indicator turns yellow and time how long this takes.
  7. Record what happens in the funnel and in the glass tube containing the second piece of mineral wool.


  • Wear eye protection.
  • Methanol is flammable and poisonous.
  • Potassium hydroxide is corrosive.
  • Take care if you have to insert glass tubing into the stoppers yourself. Make sure that your teacher shows you the correct technique.


You can find other Chemistry Projects here.

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