Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Chemical Engineering (M.S.C.H.)

Degree Granting Department

Chemical Engineering

Major Professor

Aydin K. Sunol, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

George Philippidis, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Scott W. Campbell, Ph.D.


Alternative fuel, composition analysis, isothermal calorimeter, reheated oil, waste oil feedstock


Biodiesel has become a major renewable fuel for diesel engines particularly from various waste sources. New biodiesel production technologies are emerging with data demands for efficient process design. This project highlights the data requirements, gaps in the thermo-physical property data, and consolidation of experimental and estimation methods for effective process development. Knowing the thermodynamic properties of a substance is important in order to know what process or procedures it has to go under. The aim of this project is to assess the potential of vegetable oils to serve as feedstock for biofuel production by determining their heat capacity (Cp). Such oils are common ingredients in daily cooking in every kitchen all over the world, as a result of which there is a lot of leftover oil that is thrown away. To understand the property and alterations of waste oils as a cheaper source for biofuel feedstock, this study has been carried out.

A methodology for measuring Cp values was followed with the use of a calorimeter. The oils studied were: canola oil, corn oil and carinata oil. The experimental findings show that as each oil was heated repeatedly, its heat capacity changed and was found to be increasing. The heat capacities of canola, corn and carinata oils increased by 5.01%, 4.08% and 4.46% respectively for five times heated oils compared to virgin oils. This increase is due to compositional changes in the oils on subjecting to heating treatments. The GC-MS analysis show that the PuFAs decrease with every heating cycle while the SFA and one MFA increase. The total amount of PuFA decrease is equivalent to the total amount of SFA and MFA increase, which confirm that there is a conservation of mass and PuFA undergoes saturation on heating.