(800g) Heterogeneous Catalysis for Biodiesel Production of Rapeseed Oil

Ramesar, N., CUNY City College of New York

Heterogeneous Catalysis  for Biodiesel Production of Rapeseed Oil

Naomi Ramesar1 and Yohannes Kiros2

1Deparment of Chemical Engineering, CUNY City College, 160 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031

2 Department of Chemical Engineering & Technology, KTH-Royal Institute of Technology, Teknikringen42, S-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

AIChE Conference 2013:  Abstract

Biodiesel is an alternative fuel derived from vegetable oils, animal fats and used frying oils. It consists of long-chain fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), which is chemically produced through the transesterification reaction of a triglyceride with an alcohol (methanol or ethanol) in the presence of an alkaline or acidic catalyst.  A new approach using heterogeneous catalysts has attracted much attention in recent years for the production of biodiesel because they are environmentally benign, recyclable, and cheaper than homogeneous catalysts. In our work, the two alkaline catalysts being used are calcium oxide (CaO) and lithium doped calcium oxide (Li-CaO).  To observe the effect of both catalysts on biodiesel production, the reaction was carried out at 50 and 60°C with a weight percent of catalyst to oil of 3.5 and 2.5. Surface characterizations of both catalysts were determined by Powder X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET) method.  The percent yield of FAME was obtained via results provided from Gas Chromotography (GC).