Synthesis and Characterization of CuO/C Catalyst for the Esterification of Free Fatty Acid in Rubber Seed Oil

Khan, Maksudur R. and Huei, Ruey Ong and Yousuf, Abu and Chowdhury, M. N. K. and Cheng, C. K. (2014) Synthesis and Characterization of CuO/C Catalyst for the Esterification of Free Fatty Acid in Rubber Seed Oil. Fuel, 120. pp. 195-201. ISSN 0016-2361, ESSN: 1873-7153. (Published)

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Plant oils or animal fats that contain high free fatty acid (FFA) are not preferred for base catalyzed biodiesel production. Pre-esterification is widely used to reduce the FFA content of the oil for avoiding saponification and associated purification cost. In the present study, carbon supported copper oxide (CuO/C) catalyst was prepared for the esterification of FFA in the rubber seed oil (RSO) which was extracted from the fresh seed by soxhlet extractor using hexane as a solvent. Copper nanoparticles were synthesized by sol–gel method and the nanoparticles were impregnated into the pore network of the carbon support. The copper impregnated activated carbon powder was calcined at 400 °C in a furnace for 6 h, leading to the formation of CuO/C. The catalyst was characterized by using Brunauer Emmett Teller, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and Thermogravimetric analysis. Moreover, Hammett indicator method was used to determine the acidity of the catalyst. The effects of reaction temperature, methanol/FFA molar ratio, catalyst concentration on the FFA conversion were also studied. Based on the experimental results, methanol to FFA ratio of 10:1, catalyst dose 8 wt%, reaction time of 6 h and temperature 65 °C were found as the optimum for the esterification reaction. Therefore, the developed catalyst could be effectively used for the esterification of FFA in plant oil.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Indexed in Scopus
Uncontrolled Keywords: Copper sol; Biodiesel; Esterification; Free fatty acids; Rubber seed oil
Subjects: T Technology > TP Chemical technology
Faculty/Division: Faculty of Chemical & Natural Resources Engineering
Depositing User: Noorul Farina Arifin
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2014 08:21
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2018 04:07
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