Grasas y Aceites, Vol 65, No 1 (2014)

Synthesis of palm-based ethylhexyl ester as a synthetic base oil for drilling fluids using chemical transesterification


https://doi.org/10.3989/gya.074513

N. S.H.A. Habib
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Engineering Faculty, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

R. Yunus
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Engineering Faculty, Universiti Putra Malaysia - Institute of Advanced Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

U. Rashid
Institute of Advanced Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

Y. H. Taufiq-Yap
Centre of Excellence for Catalysis Science and Technology, Faculty of Science; Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

Z. Z. Abidin
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Engineering Faculty, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

A. M. Syam
Institute of Advanced Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia - Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malikussaleh, Malaysia

Abstract


In the present study the synthesis of a palm based ethylhexyl ester was examined through a transesterification reaction of palm oil methyl ester (POME) with 2-ethylhexanol (EH). A sodium methoxide in methanol solution was used as a catalyst. The reaction was carried out at a fixed pressure of 1.5 mbar by varying the temperature (80–140 °C), POME/2EH molar ratio (1:1.5–1:2.2), reaction time (0.5–4 h) and catalyst concentration (1–2% w/w). The reaction with 2-ethylhexanol involved a single step reversible reaction, thus, the reaction was completed in a very short time. The optimum conditions were obtained in less than 30 minutes with 1.5 mbar pressure, 70 °C, and 1:2 molar ratio of POME to 2EH. The analysis of the final product (ethylhexyl ester) was performed using gas chromatography which exhibited 98% of ethyl hexyl ester yield. The gas chromatography analysis of ethyl hexyl ester revealed two major esters peaks i.e. ethyl hexyl palmitate and ethylhexyl oleate.

Keywords


Ethylhexyl ester; Gas chromatography; Optimization; Reaction parameters

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