An experimental investigation into methyl laureate production via direct esterification of solid fatty acid by using amylum sulfuric acid: an efficient, biodegradable, and recyclable solid acid catalyst

Abstract

Recently, many processes have been reported to produce biodiesel via alkali-catalyzed transesterification of triglyceride molecules. However, this requires certain precautions. First, the triglyceride should be nearly pure. Studies show that the presence of water or free fatty acids acts as a poison for the catalyst. Second, the price of pure triglyceride does not allow biodiesel to compete with diesel fuel in cost. These disadvantages are the main reasons why researchers have recently focused on other feedstocks for biodiesel fuel production. Therefore, we investigated the chemical conversion of lauric acid and methanol to methyl laureate fuel via esterification reaction over amylum sulfuric acid as an efficient, biodegradable, and recyclable solid acid catalyst. Synthesized methyl laureate fuel was fittingly characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy as well as by 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic techniques.

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Acknowledgments

The authors are very grateful to the Department of Applied Chemistry, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology (SVNIT), Surat, for providing laboratory facilities and financial support for the course of this work. For characterization, we are grateful to Mr. Avtar singh, SAIF, Punjab University, Chandigarh, India. Also, Mr. A.B. Patel from the Department of Applied Chemistry, Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology (SVNIT), Surat, is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Bharatkumar Z. Dholakiya.

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Savaliya, M.L., Dholakiya, B.Z. An experimental investigation into methyl laureate production via direct esterification of solid fatty acid by using amylum sulfuric acid: an efficient, biodegradable, and recyclable solid acid catalyst. Res Chem Intermed 41, 4523–4532 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11164-014-1548-2

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Keywords

  • Lauric acid
  • Amylum sulfuric acid (ASA)
  • Fatty acid
  • Biodiesel
  • Esterification