Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 21 (2) December 2009, p. 659-666 BAROUTIAN, S* ; RAMAN, A. A.* ; SULAIMAN, N.M*
In this study, transesterification of refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) palm olein was carried out with methanol, ethanol and their mixtures at various methanol/ethanol ratios, while maintaining the molar ratio of oil to alcohol at 1:6. Potassium hydroxide was used as the catalyst. The process variables were temperature, methanol/ethanol molar ratio and amount of catalyst. The optimum biodiesel production yield was 98.10% when using a methanol/ethanol molar ratio of 4:2 and an alcohol to oil molar ratio of 6:1, a reaction time of 1 hr and a reaction temperature of 50ºC. Physical and chemical properties of all the esters were also obtained and these parameters are reported. The physical properties of esters obtained from this study were found to be comparable with standard biodiesel specification of EN 14214. Analysis was also done to establish the differences in physical properties between biodiesel produced in this work and Malaysian petroleum diesel, data which is vital for blending purposes.KEYWORDS:
* Department of Chemical Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering,
University of Malaya,
50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.