(210d) Fatty Acid Methyl Ester Production Via Ferric Sulfate Catalyzed Interesterification
AIChE Annual Meeting
2018 AIChE Annual Meeting
Sustainable Engineering Forum
Chemical and Catalytic Conversions and Processes for Renewable Feedstocks
Monday, October 29, 2018 - 4:45pm to 5:10pm
While biodiesel production is on the rise, so too is the production of the low-value product, glycerol. Interesterification is an alternative reaction that produces fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) and avoids the production of glycerol. In this work, ferric sulfate is used as a potential heterogeneous catalyst for interesterification of model triglyceride, triolein, using methyl acetate. Reaction conditions were optimized by varying reaction temperature, methyl acetate to oil mole ratio (MAOMR), catalyst loading, as well as FAME as co-solvents. Additionally, this work also evaluated the effect of typical triglyceride feedstock contaminants, water and free fatty acids (FFA). The optimal reaction conditions were found to be 120 °C, 20:1 MAOMR and a mass loading of 7.5% ferric sulfate with yields up to 83%. The addition of FAME and water in the system is shown to have potential benefits on reaction rate and yield while FFA addition had mildly negative impacts on initial reaction rate. The results in this work show relatively high yields at mild temperatures and reagents loadings and could be a promising means of alternative FAME production.