Triglyceride transesterification in heterogeneous reaction system with calcium oxide as catalyst
Keywords:biodiesel, triacetin, basic catalysis, triolein
In this work, the behavior of the CaO as a potential catalyst for the transesterification of triglyceride towards biodiesel production was studied. The effect of the alcohol type, the ratio of alcohol/triacetin, the amount of catalyst, and the chain length of triglyceride on the catalytic behavior of CaO was analyzed. Total conversion was obtained at room temperature with a 6:1 molar ratio of methanol to triacetin over 1% of CaO, after 1 h. It was demonstrated that the whole reaction occurs in heterogeneous phase. During five reaction cycles the CaO maintained a high catalytic activity, showing its good stability. Additionally, it was established that the length of the triglyceride used influenced the transesterification reaction yield due to the steric hindrances and diffusional limitations in the fluid phase.
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