Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

Advisor

Dr. Brian Maricle

Abstract

Finding alternative sources of renewable energy is on the rise globally. Renewable sources of energy are advantageous because they are biodegradable, less toxic, and combust efficiently. More importantly, raw materials for these sources can be replenished. One alternative source of energy is biodiesel. Biodiesel is a fuel which consists of mono-alkyl esters of long-chained fatty acids obtained from vegetable oil or animal fats. They serve as efficient fuels to run diesel engines. Biodiesel is produced via transesterification of oils wherein glycerine is a by-product. Avocado (Persea americana) is a fleshy fruit with high lipid content, mostly monounsaturated fats, which amounts to 70% of its lipid content. These fruits serve as viable sources of biodiesel. In this research, I used the soxhlet apparatus to extract oil from the stony endocarp and trituration/geometric dilution to extract oil from fleshy mesocarp to produce biodiesel. The solvent used in both methods was hexane. About 0.48 ml of oil per g tissue was obtained from the avocado mesocarp via trituration extraction technique compared to 0.025 ml of oil per g tissue from avocado endocarp via soxhlet extraction. Oils extracted were analysed using GC-MS and were composed of fatty acids like oleic acid, palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, arachidonic acid, and myristic acid. These fatty acids were transesterified to investigate potential for biodiesel production. Avocado’s high lipid content can be explored in the area of renewable energy. The mixture of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids can be advantageous in its use as biodiesel.

Rights

Copyright 2017 Ifeoma Oraemesi

Comments

Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

Included in

Biology Commons

Share

COinS