Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

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Use of apple snail (Pomacea sp.) shell as a catalyst for biodiesel production: full factorial design optimisation.

Abstract

Use of apple snail (Pomacea sp.) shell as a catalyst for biodiesel production was studied using full factorial experimental design optimisation to determine the optimum conditions for production. The calcium oxide (CaO) catalyst was produced by calcination of apple snail (Pomacea sp.) shell at 900°C for 2 h in a tubular furnace. The catalyst and shell were characterized using nitrogen sorption analysis, Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR) analysis, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The optimum conditions as determined by the model were obtained by employing 5% catalyst and a methanol/oil ratio of 5:1, while the best combination based on real data was 4% catalyst and a methanol/oil ratio of 7:1, with a difference in fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) yield between the data and the model of 2.1%. Apple snail (Pomacea sp.) shell has potential as a catalyst for biodiesel production, provided population growth and expansion of the distribution of the snails is prevented so as not to increase the already serious impacts they have on rice production.