Effect of Koh/Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> Heterogenous Catalyst on Various Properties of Biodiesel by Transesterification of Palm Oil

Research Article

Austin Chem Eng. 2016; 3(5): 1043.

Effect of Koh/Al2O3 Heterogenous Catalyst on Various Properties of Biodiesel by Transesterification of Palm Oil

Ughade YR and Ajabe NK*

Department of Chemical Engineering, Anuradha Engineering College, Chikhli (MH), India

*Corresponding author: Nikhil K Ajabe, M Tech, Department of Chemical Engineering, Anuradha Engineering College, Chikhli (MH), India

Received: October 12, 2016; Accepted: November 04, 2016; Published: November 07, 2016


Transesterification of palm oil for biodiesel production are catalyzed by homogenous or heterogeneous catalyst. The present work studied the transesterification reaction used in the production of palm oil methyl ester from palm oil and methanol over synthesized KOH/Al2 O3 catalysts.

And effect on the different biodiesel properties such as density, viscosity, acid value, flash point, freezing point, pour point and yield. The reaction is proceed under following reaction condition: reaction time 6hr, 1:9 mole ratio of oil to methanol, reaction temperature 60oC. The results show that the produced palm oil methyl ester can safely be used as an alternative diesel fuel.

Keywords: Transesterification; Heterogeneous; Catalyst; Palm oil; Biodiesel properties


Increasing uncertainty about global energy production and supply, environmental concerns due to the use of fossil fuels, and the high price of petroleum products are the major reasons to search for alternatives to petro-diesel. Their utilization has been continuously increased, which accelerates the depletion of limited petroleum reserves and unavoidably increases petroleum prices. Biodiesel can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modification. transesterification of palm oil to biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester, FAME) can be catalyzed by bases, acids, and enzymes. Commercially used homogeneous alkali catalysts are NaOH, KOH, and their alkoxides. Nowadays, most of the commercial biodiesel comes from the transesterification of vegetable oil using a basic catalyst, such as NaOH or KOH, because a basic catalyst can catalyze faster than an acid catalyst. But homogeneous catalysts have many problems and lead to a reduced yield of biodiesel. For example, hydrolysis and saponification are side reactions of transesterification resulting in the formation of soap which is hard and high cost to separate the catalyst from the product. And a large amount of wastewater is produced in separating and cleaning the catalyst and the products. In this reaction, these parameter reaction time, reaction temperature and mole ratio are constant for all different value of catalyst concentration. Common processes of biodiesel production are mixing triglyceride and alcoholic phases in the presence of catalyst in a closed reactor. Application of mechanical stirrers is the most common way for reactants mixing. Stirring speed (RPM) is also constant for every reaction.

Palm Oil

Palm oil is the most efficient oilseed crop in the world. One hectare of oil palm plantation is able to produce up to ten times more oil than other leading oilseed crops. Palm oil is used in a wide variety of food products such as cooking oil, shortenings and margarine. Palm oil is increasingly being used as feedstock for bio-fuel although its primary use remains for food. Palm oil is balanced oil with a unique chemical composition that offers greater advantages compared to other vegetable oils: It has a longer shelf life as it does not become easily rancid. Unlike other vegetable oils, palm oil is naturally semisolid and does not need to undergo hydrogenation to make it suitable for solid applications. The hydrogenation process is responsible for the formation of Tran’s fatty acids which are detrimental to health.

Catalyst Preparation

The procedure involves the following steps

The prepared catalyst is shown in Figure 1.