Hydroesterification of bio-oils over HZSM-5, BETA and Y zeolites
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The primary aim of this research is to study the influence of various experimental parameters on the reaction in order to establish the optimum conditions for which the highest conversion level of zeolite-catalysed oil hydroesterification (two-step reaction: oil hydrolysis and fatty acid esterification) can be achieved. The experimental results indicate that optimising the reaction temperature and stirring rate (providing adequate mass transfer rate and preventing the diffusion limitations) are the main factors to reach into the optimal catalytic performance. An inadequate concentration of water and alcohol can lead to incomplete conversion of the oil during the hydrolysis and fatty acid esterification steps. Exceeding stoichiometric values during hydrolysis (excess H2O) or esterification (excess CH3OH) does not enhance the conversion level of the oil and can act adversely on the extent of hydroesterification. In excess of 95% of the original zeolite activity was recovered via calcination in air during studies of catalyst deactivation.
KeywordsOil hydroesterification Zeolite Biodiesel Conversion level
Omid Mowla gratefully acknowledges financial support provided through the University of Newcastle International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (UNIPRS) and the University of Newcastle Research Scholarship External (UNRSE) for this research.
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