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research-article

Biodiesel production from waste palm oil using palm empty fruit bunch derived novel carbon acid catalyst

[+] Author and Article Information
Indika Thushari

School of Bio-Chemical Engineering and Technology, Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology, Thammasat University, Pathum Thani 12121, Thailand
pgi.thushari@gmail.com

Sandhya Babel

School of Bio-Chemical Engineering and Technology, Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology, Thammasat University, Pathum Thani 12121, Thailand
sandhya@siit.tu.ac.th

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038380 History: Received February 09, 2017; Revised November 02, 2017

Abstract

Production of biodiesel from waste palm oil (WPO) can provide alternative energy and at the same time reduce the problems created by disposal of WPO. In this study, a novel, inexpensive and environmental benign carbon acid catalyst is prepared by direct in-situ concentrated H2SO4 impregnation of palm empty fruit bunch (PEFB) powder and employed for biodiesel production using WPO. The structure and the physiochemical properties of the prepared catalyst (PEFB-DS-SO3H) are analyzed by acid base back titration data, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and using N2 adsorption and desorption isotherm data. It is observed that the catalyst has a unique amorphous structure with total acid density of 5.40 mmolg-1, surface area of 5.5 m2g-1, and 0.31 cm3g-1 pore volume. In addition, FT-IR, XPS, and EDS results confirm a successful sulfonation during the catalyst preparation. It is found that FAME yield increases with increasing methanol:oil (molar ratio) and reaction time up to an optimum value. The highest biodiesel yield of 91% is reported under reaction conditions of 5 wt. % catalyst, 14:1 methanol: oil (molar ratio), at 65-70 °C after 14 h in an open reflux system. Results show that the catalyst can be reused for four consecutive cycles without significant loss of catalytic activity. Fuel properties of the produced biodiesel are compatible with the international fuel standards for biodiesel.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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