Optimization of transesterification conditions for the production of Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) from Chinese tallow kernel oil with a nano-scale magnetic catalyst

Y. Y. Gao, W. W. Chen, H. Lei, Y. Liu, X. Lin, R. Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A nano-scale magnetic catalyst was used as a catalyst in preparing fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) from Chinese tallow kernel oil from Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb. syn. Triadica sebifera (L.) Small. FAME transesterification was analyzed using response surface methodology to find the effect of process variables on the yield of FAME and to establish prediction models. Reaction temperature and time were found to be the main factors affecting the yield of FAME with nano-scale magnetic catalyst present. Developed prediction models satisfactorily described the yield of FAME as a function of reaction temperature, time, dosage of nano-scale magnetic catalyst, and ratio of methanol to oil. The FAME mainly contained fatty acid esters of C16:0, C18:0, C18:1, C18:2, and C18:3, determined by gas chromatography. The optimal yield of FAME was 96.78%. The optimal conditions for the above yield of FAME were found to be a reaction time of 2.7 h, reaction temperature of 64°C, and 4.0% dosage of nano-scale magnetic catalyst. Thus, by using the central composite design, it is possible to determine accurate values of the transesterification parameters where maximum production of FAME occurs using the nano-scale magnetic catalyst. The fuel properties of FAME produced were compared with those of the regular diesel and found to conform to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1169-1174
Number of pages6
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Volume54
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2011

Keywords

  • Central composite design
  • Chinese tallow kernel oil
  • Fatty acid methyl ester
  • Nano-scale magnetic catalyst
  • Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb. syn. Triadica sebifera (L.) Small.

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