Renewable Energy, Vol.76, 408-417, 2015
Performance evaluation of artificial neural network coupled with generic algorithm and response surface methodology in modeling and optimization of biodiesel production process parameters from shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa) nut butter
This work investigated the potential of shea butter oil (SBO) as feedstock for synthesis of biodiesel. Due to high free fatty acid (FFA) of SBO used, response surface methodology (RSM) was employed to model and optimize the pretreatment step while its conversion to biodiesel was modeled and optimized using RSM and artificial neural network (ANN). The acid value of the SBO was reduced to 1.19 mg KOH/g with oil/ methanol molar ratio of 3.3, H2SO4 of 0.15 v/v, time of 60 min and temperature of 45 degrees C. Optimum values predicted for the transesterification reaction by RSM were temperature of 90 degrees C, KOH of 0.6 w/v, oil/ methanol molar ratio of 3.5, and time of 30 mm with actual shea butter oil biodiesel (SBOB) yield of 99.65% (w/w). ANN combined with generic algorithm gave the optimal condition as temperature of 82 degrees C, KOH of 0.40 w/v, oil/methanol molar ratio of 2.62 and time of 30 min with actual SBOB yield of 99.94% (w/w). Coefficient of determination (R-2) and absolute average deviation (AAD) of the models were 0.9923, 0.83% (RSM) and 0.9991, 0.15% (ANN), which demonstrated that ANN model was more efficient than RSM model. Properties of SBOB produced were within biodiesel standard specifications. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.