Effect of Co-Solvents on Transesterification of Refined Palm Oil in Supercritical Methanol

  • Narupon Jomtib Chulalognkorn University
  • Chattip Prommuak Chulalognkorn University
  • Motonobu Goto Kumamoto University
  • Mitsuru Sasaki Kumamoto University
  • Artiwan Shotipruk Chulalognkorn University

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Abstract

This study examined the non-catalytic transesterification of refined palm oil, using supercritical methanol as a solvent with and without the presence of co-solvent, i.e. toluene, benzene, or hexane. Without the presence of a co-solvent, methyl esters can be produced via the non-catalytic transesterification of palm oil at 300oC, using a methanol to oil molar ratio of 45:1, with 89.4% conversion achieved after 50 min. The reaction performance could be improved by adding either benzene or toluene (with 10% v/v solvent to oil) as co-solvent to 92.1 and 95.1%, respectively, while reducing the required amount of excess methanol from 45:1 to 25:1. Under most conditions, the conversion of palm oil decreased with the addition of hexane due to its antisolvent properties.

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Author Biographies
Narupon Jomtib

Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Chattip Prommuak

Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Motonobu Goto

Department of Applied Chemistry and Biochemistry, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto 850-8555, Japan

Mitsuru Sasaki

Department of Applied Chemistry and Biochemistry, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto 850-8555, Japan

Artiwan Shotipruk

Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Published
Vol 15 No 3, May 20, 2011
How to Cite
N. Jomtib, C. Prommuak, M. Goto, M. Sasaki, and A. Shotipruk, “Effect of Co-Solvents on Transesterification of Refined Palm Oil in Supercritical Methanol”, Eng. J., vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 49-58, May 2011.

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