Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 27 (4) December 2015, p. 339-351
AN OPTIMISATION STUDY FOR CATALYTIC HYDROLYSIS OF OIL PALM SHELL USING RESPONSE SURFACE METHODOLOGY
Oil palm shell has great potential for conversion to biofuels because of its abundance and favourable composition. Catalytic hydrolysis of oil palm shell was performed using sodium hydroxide as a catalyst. The main objective of the study was to optimise the process parameters for yield percentage of bio-oil from catalytic hydrolysis of palm shell by means of response surface methodology with central composite design. The parameters investigated were reaction temperature (140oC-230oC), reaction time (10-30 min) and NaOH concentration (04 m-1.5 m). The main product (bio-oil) was characterised using Fourier transform infra-red spectroscopy and the bomb calorimeter to find the functional groups and higher heating value of bio-oil. Among all the three parameters, the NaOH concentration was found to be the most influencing factor for liquid yield percentage followed by reaction temperature and time, respectively. The R-squared value of the model was 0.9657 indicating an excellent match for values of liquid production in predicted and experimental results. The optimum conditions found were: temperature at 230oC, time at 10 min, and NaOH concentration at 1.5 M yielded 74.6 wt.% of product. The heating values determined for acetone and water-soluble products at optimum conditions were 22.4 MJ kg-1 and 14.3 MJ kg-1.KEYWORDS:
* Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. E-mail: email@example.com
** Petroleum and Chemical Engineering, Institut Teknologi Brunei, Jalan Tungku Link, Gadong BE 1410, Brunei Darussalam.
‡ Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
‡ ‡ UCSI University, UCSI Heights, 56000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.