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Journal of the Serbian Chemical Society 2009 Volume 74, Issue 8-9, Pages: 993-1007
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Alkali-catalyzed production of biodiesel from waste frying oils

Predojević Zlatica J., Škrbić Biljana D.

The effects of the transesterification parameters on the yield and quality of the methyl esters (MEs) produced from waste frying oil (WFO) were investigated. A two-step alkali transesterification reaction followed by silica gel purification step was applied. The investigated reaction parameters were the methanol/oil molar ratio (6:1 and 9:1), the catalyst/oil weight ratio (1.0 and 1.5 mass %) and the type of catalyst (NaOH and KOH). The physical and chemical properties of the employed feedstock and the obtained biodiesel were determined in order to investigate the effects of both the properties of the WFO and the reaction parameters on the characteristics and yields of the product. It was found that the properties of the feedstock had a determinant effect on the physical and chemical properties of the MEs, as the majority of them did not differ significantly under the studied reaction parameters. However, the reaction parameters influenced the yields of the product. Higher yields were obtained with a 1.0 than with a 1.5 mass % catalyst to oil ratio. The increasing yield with decreasing catalyst/oil ratio was more pronounced with NaOH (9.15-14.35 %) than with KOH (2.84-6.45 %). When KOH was used as the catalyst, the yields were always higher (the mean yield was 94.86 %) in comparison to those obtained with NaOH (the mean was 84.28 %). Furthermore, the efficiency of KOH in conversion of WFO to purified MEs in comparison to NaOH was even more pronounced in the case of the higher methanol/oil ratio, i.e., for the 9:1 methanol/ oil ratio, the yield increase with KOH was about 2 times higher than the yield with NaOH, regardless of the applied catalyst/oil ratio.

Keywords: biodiesel, waste frying oil, alkaline two-step transesterification