Sylvain Didier Kouame, Joe Perez, and Semih Eser
Professor of Energy and Geo-Environmental Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University
Oil was extracted from toxic seeds of a shrub, Jatropha Curcas, in high yields, up to 40% by weight. Jatropha oil was converted in a laboratory reactor to biodiesel by transesterification. Analysis of Jatropha oil and Jatropha biodiesel by by GC/MS, NMR, and GC/SIMDIS showed that Jatropha oil could be readily converted to a biodiesel product through NaOH catalyzed transesterification. The resulting biodiesel has desirable properties such as high cetane number and low point that represent major improvements over the properties of commercial biodiesel fuels.