Grasas y Aceites, Vol 67, No 3 (2016)

A novel hybrid catalyst for the esterification of high FFA in Jatropha oil for biodiesel production


https://doi.org/10.3989/gya.0216161

M. Mushtaq
Chemical Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia

I. M. Tan
Chemical Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia

M. Sagir
Chemical Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS - Chemical Engineering Department, University of Gujrat, Malaysia

M. Suleman Tahir
Chemical Engineering Department, University of Gujrat, Pakistan

M. Pervaiz
Govt. College University Lahore, Pakistan

Abstract


The synthesis and application of a hybrid catalyst for the esterification of free fatty acids (FFA) in Jatropha oil is reported. Three catalysts, namely silica sulfuric acid, silica supported boron trifluoride and a combination of the two in the weight ratio of 1:1, the hybrid catalyst, were investigated. Jatropha oil samples with a wide range of FFA values i.e. 6.64 to 45.64% were prepared and utilized for the experimental work. This study revealed that silica sulfuric acid and silica supported boron trifluoride were not very effective when used independently. However, a strong synergistic effect was noted in the catalytic activity of the hybrid catalyst which reduced the FFA value from 45.64 to 0.903% with a conversion efficiency of 98%. Reusability of the catalyst was also tested and the results were promising in up to three cycles of use when used with lower amounts of FFA (6.64%) in the oil. Under the influence of the catalyst, the reaction was found to follow first order kinetics. Activation energy was calculated to be 45.42 KJ·mol-1 for 2 wt.% of hybrid catalyst. The products were analyzed by FT-IR and NMR spectroscopic techniques and the results are reported.

Keywords


Biodiesel; Esterification; Free Fatty Acids; Heterogeneous catalysts; Jatropha oil

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