An environmentally benign process for the production of methyl ester using γ-alumina supported heterogeneous base catalyst in sub- and supercritical methanol has been developed. The production of methyl ester in refluxed methanol conventionally utilized double promoted γ-alumina heterogeneous base catalyst (CaO/KI/γ-alumina); however, this process requires a large amount of catalyst and a long reaction time to produce a high yield of methyl ester. This study carries out methyl ester production in sub- and supercritical methanol with the introduction of an optimized catalyst used in the previous work for the purpose of improving the process and enhancing efficiency. CaO/KI/γ-Al2O3 catalyst was prepared by precipitation and impregnation methods. The effects of catalyst amount, reaction temperature, reaction time, and the ratio of oil to methanol on the yield of biodiesel ester were studied. The reaction was carried out in a batch reactor (8.8ml capacity, stainless steel, AKICO, Japan). Results show that the use of CaO/KI/γ-Al2O3 catalyst effectively reduces both reaction time and required catalyst amount. The optimum process conditions were at a temperature of 290°C, ratio of oil to methanol of 1:24, and a catalyst amount of 3% over 60min of reaction time. The highest yield of biodiesel obtained under these optimum conditions was almost 95%.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2013|
- Heterogeneous base catalyst
- Palm oil
- Sub- and supercritical