Research Papers: Fuel Combustion

Biodiesel Production From Waste Palm Oil Using Palm Empty Fruit Bunch-Derived Novel Carbon Acid Catalyst

[+] Author and Article Information
P. G. I. Thushari

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

S. Babel

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

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Internal Combustion Engine Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received February 9, 2017; final manuscript received November 2, 2017; published online November 28, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Stephen A. Ciatti.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 140(3), 032204 (Nov 28, 2017) (10 pages) Paper No: JERT-17-1061; doi: 10.1115/1.4038380 History: Received February 09, 2017; Revised November 02, 2017

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, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (scanning electron microscopy (SEM)-EDS), SEM, 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 fatty acid methyl ester (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.

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Topics: Catalysts , Biodiesel , Carbon
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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Proposed schematic layout of catalyst preparation

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Fig. 2

EDS of PEFB-DS-SO3H catalyst

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Fig. 3

(a) Adsorption–desorption isotherm and (b) pore size distribution of PEFB-DS-SO3H catalyst

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Fig. 4

Scanning electron microscopy of PEFB-DS-SO3H catalyst

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Fig. 5

Fourier transform infrared spectrum of (a) raw PEFB, (b) PEFB-DS-SO3H catalyst, (c) used catalyst after first cycle, and (d) used catalyst after second cycle

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Fig. 6

(a) XPS spectra of raw PEFB, PEFB-DS-SO3H, and used PEFB-DS-SO3H, (b1)–(b3) S2p spectrum, C1 s spectrum, and O1 s spectrum of PEFB-DS-SO3H, and (c) S2p spectra of PEFB-DS-SO3H, and used PEFB-DS-SO3H

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Fig. 7

Proposed mechanisms for carbon-based solid acid catalyzed (a) trans-esterification reaction and (b) esterification reaction

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Fig. 8

Effect of methanol:oil (molar ratio) on FAME yield (%): 5 wt % catalyst, at 65–70 °C, 10 h

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Fig. 9

Effect of reaction time on FAME yield (%): 5 wt % catalyst, 14:1 methanol:oil (molar ratio), at 65–70 °C

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Fig. 10

Effect of reaction temperature on FAME yield: 5 wt % catalyst, 6:1 methanol:oil (molar ratio), at 3 h, in an autoclave system

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Fig. 11

Effect of catalyst loading on FAME yield (%): 14:1 methanol:oil (molar ratio) at 65–70 °C, 10 h

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Fig. 12

Catalyst reusability: 5 wt % catalyst, 14:1 methanol:oil (molar ratio), at 65–70 °C, 14 h



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