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Pistacia terebintus L. Seed Oil: A New Possible Source of Biodiesel

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Pistacia terebintus, a member of the family Anacardiaceae, is a perennial plant that widely grows in the southern and western regions of Anatolia. Pistacia terebintus L. seeds contain 66% oil, which allows the possibility of economical exploitation. The main monounsaturated fatty acid is oleic (55–75% w/w), polyunsaturated linoleic (15–38% w/w), while the main saturated fatty acid is palmitic (8–20% w/w). Pistacia terebintus L. seed oil was investigated as an alternative feedstock for the production of a biodiesel fuel. Three commonly used catalysts for alkaline-catalyzed transesterification, i.e., sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, and sodium methoxide, were evaluated using conventional heating with Pistacia terebintus L. oil. High biodiesel yield (97.8%) was obtained by using sodium methoxide, because they only contain the hydroxide group, necessary for saponification, as a low proportion impurity. The methyl ester has relatively closer fuel properties to diesel than that of raw seed oil. Plant improvement programs could make Pistacia terebintus L. a viable alternative for biodiesel production.
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Keywords: Pistacia terebintus L; alternative feedstock; biofuel; homogenous catalyst; transesterification

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Chemistry Department, Science Faculty, Dicle University, Diyarbakir, Turkey 2: Biology Department, Science Faculty, Dicle University, Diyarbakir, Turkey 3: Mining Engineering Department, Engineering Faculty, Dicle University, Diyarbakir, Turkey

Publication date: August 18, 2014

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