Open Access

Production of Biodiesel from Moringa Oleifera and Jatropha Curcas Seed Oils over a Modified ZnO/Fly Ash Catalyst


Methyl ester biodiesel was produced from Moringa Oleifera oil and Jatropha Curcas oil with the sole aim of assessing the feasibility of the feedstocks as viable sources of biodiesel in Botswana. Oil extraction and transesterification were carried out under identical experimental conditions for both Jatropha Curcas and Moringa Oleifera biomass. Oil was extracted from seeds through a soxhlet extraction method using the solvent, n-hexane. The extracted oil was then trans-esterified at 60 °C using a methanol/oil ratio of 12:1 at a stirring rate of 350 rpm, 3 wt. % catalyst loading and 120 min reaction time. Zinc Oxide modified with fly ash was used as heterogeneous catalyst for the process. GC analysis results of biodiesels produced indicated that the highest biodiesel yield was obtained from Jatropha seed oil. Moringa biodiesel showed a greater proportion of docosanedioic acid while Jatropha biodiesel composed of oleic acid in larger proportions. Both oleic and docosanedioic acid are unsaturated methyl esters. The results obtained suggests Jatropha as the more suitable feedstock as compared to Moringa.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, other