Optimization of Conversion of Palm Fatty Acids Distillate into Biodiesel by using Response Surface Methodology

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Sufriadi Burhanuddin
Navadol Laosiripojana
Boonrod Sajjakulnukit


High free fatty acid content in the Palm Fatty Acid Distilate (PFAD) potentially converted into Biodiesel by esterification process. The purpose of this investigation is to find the maximum free fatty acids (FFA) conversion in a PFAD by variation of process variables in FAME production using Amberlyst BD20 (type of cation-exchange resin) as heterogenous catalyst. Esterification reaction was carried out in 500 mL three-neck flat bottom flask and equipped by reflux-condenser sytem to protect methanol losses during the reaction take place. Conversion of free fatty acid was determined by evaluating the change of initial acid number (i.e 170 mg KOH/g sample) to its final value. A 34 full-factorial design experiment followed by Respon Surface Methodology (RSM) was applied for the determination of optimum condition: reaction temperature is 66.5789oC, molar ratio Methanol to Oil is 6.6316 : 1, percent catalyst loading is 1.2763 %wt and stirrer speed is 260.5263 rpm to gives the maximum FFA conversion of 99.09% within 30 minutes. From this experiment also reported that the role of Amberlyst BD20 has a significant effect in converting high content of free fatty acid into biodiesel in a one-step reaction.

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