Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 15 No. 2, December 2003, p. 42-49
PREPARATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF TRIMETHYLOLPROPANE ESTERS FROM PALM KERNEL OIL METHYL ESTERS
Palm-based polyol esters are potential biodegradable base stocks for environmentally friendly lubricants. The synthesis of palm kernel oil trimethylolpropane (TMP) esters was performed by transesterification of palm kernel methyl esters with TMP using sodium methoxide as a catalyst. Approximately 98% w/w conversion to palm kernel TMP triesters was obtained. Temperature and vacuum pressure were found to be the key parameters because of their effects on the rate and reversibility of the reaction. A reduced pressure of at least 20 mbar was crucial for high product yield at which the optimal operating temperature was 130ºC. The basic lubrication properties of the non-additived palm and palm kernel TMP esters were the following:viscosity at 40ºC in the range of 39.7 to 49.7 cSt, pour point between -1ºC to 1ºC and high viscosity indices in the range of 167-187.Other chemical and lubrication properties compared well with the commercial vegetable oils-based TMP estersKEYWORDS:
* Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM
Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
** Malaysian Palm Oil Board, P. O. Box 10620, 50720 Kuala