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Continuous Process for Biodiesel Production in Packed Bed Reactor from Waste Frying Oil Using Potassium Hydroxide Supported on Jatropha curcas Fruit Shell as Solid Catalyst

Author(s): Achanai Buasri | Nattawut Chaiyut | Vorrada Loryuenyong | Chao Rodklum | Techit Chaikwan | Nanthakrit Kumphan

Journal: Applied Sciences
ISSN 2076-3417

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 641;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: biodiesel | packed bed reactor | waste frying oil | Jatropha curcas fruit shell

The transesterification of waste frying oil (WFO) with methanol in the presence of potassium hydroxide catalyst supported on Jatropha curcas fruit shell activated carbon (KOH/JS) was studied. The catalyst systems were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) method. The effects of reaction variables such as residence time, reaction temperature, methanol/oil molar ratio and catalyst bed height in packed bed reactor (PBR) on the yield of biodiesel were investigated. SEM images showed that KOH was well distributed on the catalyst support. The optimum conditions for achieving the conversion yield of 86.7% consisted of a residence time of 2 h, reaction temperature of 60 °C, methanol/oil molar ratio of 16 and catalyst bed height of 250 mm. KOH/JS could be used repeatedly five times without any activation treatment, and no significant activity loss was observed. The results confirmed that KOH/JS catalyst had a great potential to be used for industrial application in the transesterification of WFO. The fuel properties of biodiesel were also determined.
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