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Experimental Optimization of the Alkaline Catalyzed Transesterification Process for Biodiesel Production from Pre-treated Rubber Seed Oil

Y APP , HIONK YEINN (2012) Experimental Optimization of the Alkaline Catalyzed Transesterification Process for Biodiesel Production from Pre-treated Rubber Seed Oil. Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Biodiesel is a very promising alternative fuel to the existing petroleum diesel due to its renewability and environmental friendliness. Currently, biodiesel is mostly produced from vegetable oils using alcohol and alkaline catalyst. However, most of the vegetable oils have very high content of free fatty acid (FF A) especially rubber seed oil (RSO) which requires the two-step transesterification process involving acid-catalyzed esterification process (Step 1) followed by alkaline-catalyzed transesterification process (Step 2). The acid esterification process is to reduce the FF A content to an acceptable range ( < 1%) and it is usually followed by the alkaline transesterification process which is to convert the oil to methyl esters (biodiesel). In this work, the crude rubber seed oil, which is used as the feedstock, is first characterized and then the FF A content of the oil is reduced to less than I% through the acid esterification process. The pre-treated rubber seed oil is then used for the second step of alkaline transesterification process to produce biodiesel using methanol and potassium hydroxide (KOH) as the catalyst. Experiment runs are designed and conducted to optimize the alkaline transesterification process by varying important factors such as alcohol to oil molar ratio, amount of catalyst, reaction temperature, and time. Highest yield ofbiodiesel (75.51 wt%) is obtained at methanol to oil ratio of 6: 1, temperature of 65°C, and catalyst amount of 0.5 wt% (oil basis). It is found that the biodiesel yield is strongly affected by the catalyst amount, followed by the temperature and the alcohol to oil ratio in descending order. The effect of reaction time is also studied and the optimum reaction time is found to be at 2 hours which produces biodiesel with highest yield and FAME concentration of 96.6 wt%. The properties of the biodiesel produced at the optimal conditions and 2 hours of reaction time is found to adhere to the international standards for biodiesel (ASTM and EN).

Item Type: Final Year Project
Academic Subject : Academic Department - Chemical Engineering - Process System Engineering
Subject: T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Divisions: Engineering > Chemical
Depositing User: Users 2053 not found.
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2013 14:42
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2017 09:41
URI: http://utpedia.utp.edu.my/id/eprint/9658

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