Reaction Kinetics of Transesterification Between Palm Oil and Methanol under Subcritical Conditions
The objective of this work was to evaluate transesterification kinetics for biodiesel production from palm oil under subcritical conditions. Experimental investigation was carried out with palm oil and methanol at molar ratio of 46:1, temperatures between 150-200 °C and pressure around 140-190 atm in a 400 ml batch reactor. The biodiesel products were analyzed by gas chromatography – mass spectrometry. Area percentage method was used to estimate the methyl esters in the product. Zero- and first-order kinetic models were developed. Apparent activation energy was estimated to be in the range of 91-105 kJ/mol. The reaction rate equation was best approximated by the first order kinetic model with pre-exponential factor of 1.57 x 109.
Key words: Biodiesel; Critical fluids; Kinetic equations; Methyl esters; Palm oil; Renewable energy
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