IAMOT 2015 - 24th International Association for Management of Technology Conference: Technology, Innovation and Management for Sustainable Growth, Proceedings
Biodiesel is a renewable biofuel that is nowadays a real alternative to fossil diesel. Its use has several environmental benefits related to the decrease of CO2 emissions as well as several other air pollutants. Biodiesel is mainly produced by a transesterification reaction where the oils or fats react with a short chain alcohol, usually methanol, in the presence of a catalyst. At an industrial scale homogeneous alkaline catalysts, such as sodium or potassium hydroxide or methoxyde, are usually used. The aim of this work is to study the use of crude and heated palm oil with a high content of free fatty acids (13-18 mgKOH/g) as feedstock for biodiesel production. The high content of free fatty acids (FFA) makes this type of oil inadequate for the use in an alkaline catalyzed transesterification reaction without a pre-treatment. Therefore, an acid catalyzed esterification reaction was carried out to reduce the acidity before the transesterification reaction. In this study, the methanol: oil molar ratio was optimized. The results show that using palm oil as feedstock it is possible to produce a biodiesel with a fatty acids methyl esters content higher than 96.5%, which is the minimum values imposed by the international standards. Furthermore, the heating of the oil at 150°C for 20 min did not significantly affect the yield of the transesterification reaction and the density, viscosity and refractive index of biodiesel. Copyright © 2015 by Universidade de Lisboa, Instituto Superior Técnico and Instituto Superior Politécnico de Tecnologias e Ciências.
Year of publication: 2015