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Kinetic Study of Palmitic Acid Esterification on Sulfated Zirconium Oxide

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1009392.(doi:10.13031/2013.29870)
Authors:   Nourredine Abdoulmoumine, Nuttapol Lerkkasemsan, Foster Agblevor, Luke Achenie
Keywords:   Biodiesel, free fatty acids, heterogeneous acid catalyst, sulfated zirconium oxide, Eley-Rideal kinetics.

Biodiesel can be produced by homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysis. While homogeneous base catalysis has been traditionally used, heterogeneous acid catalysis is generating interest because of its potential superior promise of catalyzing both the conversion of free fatty acids and triglycerides into methyl esters. Solid acid catalysts such sulfated zirconium oxide have been investigated for their potential in biodiesel production due to their fast reaction rate and their ability to esterify cheaper but high free fatty acid content oil. In the present work, the kinetics of esterification of palmitic acid on sulfated zirconium oxide was studied in a batch reactor.

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