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Comparison between Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Esterification Reactions for Biodiesel Production using Reactive Distillation

Author : Wadood T. Mohammed and Marwa F. Abdul Jabbar

Pages : 3439-3447
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Biodiesel is alternative diesel that produced from oils, fatty acids and animal fats. It is produced by various processes, this research adopts a new attempt to use a system of esterification reaction of free fatty acid (lauric acid) with long chain alcohol (2-ethylhexanol) that represent an industrial wastes in the presence of many types of catalysts, homogeneous (H2SO4) and prepared heterogeneous catalyst (sulfated zirconia), that prepared in different methods including novel one to reach the requirements of the best operating conditions and reactive distillation technique. Many parameters were studied to indicate their influence on conversion of free fatty acid to ester (biodiesel). They have been included molar ratio of 2-ethylhexanol to free fatty acids, reaction temperature, concentration of catalyst 0.2- 1%wt for homogeneous one while for heterogeneous catalyst higher concentration was used 0.5- 3%wt, mixing speed for reaction time up 120 min in order to find the best conditions to produce biodiesel with higher conversion. Also, different preparation methods of sulfated zirconia have been studied to indicate which method give more conversion and more efficient method. The best operating conditions are, feed molar ratio 2:1 (alcohol to free fatty acid), reaction temperature 130°C, catalyst concentration 1wt % for homogeneous and 2wt % for heterogeneous, mixing speed 650 rpm, these conditions gave conversion of 97%.

Keywords: Biodiesel, Reactive distillation, Esterification, Homogeneous catalyst, sulfated zirconia, heterogeneous catalyst

Article published in International Journal of Current Engineering and Technology, Vol.5, No.5 (Oct-2015)


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