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Technical Note: Synthesis of Solid Acid Catalyst from Tobacco Stalk for Esterification of Oleic Acid

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

Citation:  Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 29(3): 385-389. (doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.13031/aea.29.9868) @2013
Authors:   Suguna Jairam, Praveen Kolar, Ratna R Sharma-Shivappa, Jason A Osborne
Keywords:   Carbonization Fatty acid methyl esters Heteregeneous catalyst Sulfonated char.
<italic>Abstract. </italic>

The present research evaluated tobacco stalk as raw material for synthesis of a solid acid catalyst for esterification of oleic acid. The objectives were to synthesize and characterize the solid acid catalyst and determine the effect of impregnation and reaction times on esterification of oleic acid. The catalyst was synthesized by carbonizing tobacco stalk at 300°C followed by impregnation of sulfuric acid for up to 6 h. Analysis of the catalyst surface revealed presence of sulfur and significant decrease of acid value from 7.6 ± 0.01 to 2.42 ± 0.02 (P < 0.01). Batch experiments using oleic acid and methanol resulted in conversion up to 97.7 ± 0.7% within 4 h of reaction time (6 h impregnation). Results could benefit tobacco growers via value-addition to tobacco stalks that are normally discarded.

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