Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society

, Volume 74, Issue 11, pp 1457–1463 | Cite as

Kinetics of transesterification of soybean oil

Biocatalysis Articles


Transesterification of soybean oil with methanol was investigated. Three stepwise and reversible reactions are believed to occur. The effect of variations in mixing intensity (Reynolds number=3,100 to 12,400) and temperature (30 to 70°C) on the rate of reaction were studied while the molar ratio of alcohol to triglycerol (6:1) and the concentration of catalyst (0.20 wt% based on soybean oil) were held constant. The variations in mixing intensity appear to effect the reaction parallel to the variations in temperature. A reaction mechanism consisting of an initial mass transfer-controlled region followed by a kinetically controlled region is proposed. The experimental data for the latter region appear to be a good fit into a second-order kinetic mechanism. The reaction rate constants and the activation energies were determined for all the forward and reverse reactions.

Key words

Biodiesel kinetics methyl esters mixing renewable fuels soybean oil transesterification triglycerides 


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Copyright information

© AOCS Press 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of NebraskaLincoln

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