Optimization of methanol crystallization for highly efficient separation of palmitic acid from palm fatty acid mixture using response surface methodology
Keywords:Biodiesel, D-optimal design, Methanol crystallization, Palmitic acid, Response surface methodology (RSM)
The objective of the current study was to develop parameters for the separation of palmitic acid (PA) from a crude palm oil saturated fatty acid (SFAs) mixture by using the methanol crystallization method. The conditions of methanol crystallization were optimized by the response surface methodology (RSM) with the D-optimal design. The procedure of developing the solvent crystallization method was based on various different parameters. The fatty acid composition was carried out using a gas chromatography flame ionization detector (GC-FID) as fatty acid methyl esters. The highest percentage of SFAs was more than 96% with the percentage yield of 87.5% under the optimal conditions of fatty acids-to-methanol ratio of 1: 20 (w/v), the crystallization temperature of -15 °C, and the crystallization time of 24 hours, respectively. The composition of separated SFAs in the solid fraction contains 96.7% of palmitic acid (C16:0) as a dominant component and 3.3% of stearic acid (C18:0). The results showed that utilizing methanol as a crystallization solvent is recommended because of its high efficiency, low cost, stability, availability, comparative ease of recovery and its ability to form needle-like crystals which have good filtering and washing characteristics.
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