You are on page 1of 7


0 ABSTRACT This experiment requires the researching and learning of a method to produce biodiesel from palm oil on a laboratory scale. Palm oil is reacted with methanol, catalysed by sodium hydroxide (NaOH) lye through a process called transesterification. This process involves the breaking up of the triglyceride chain in palm oil and combination of each chain with methanol, isolating out glycerine. When mixing and reaction are finally complete, the ester (biodiesel) and glycerine will isolate themselves away as two separate liquid phases.

2.0 OBJECTIVE OF EXPERIMENT To investigate and learn the methods to produce biodiesel from palm oil and methanol with sodium hydroxide as the catalyst.

3.0 SCOPE OF EXPERIMENT To produce biodiesel via transesterification process of palm oil with methanol, catalysed by sodium hydroxide on a laboratory scale.

4.0 THEORY Biodiesel is a biodegradable fuel and the fact that engines running on biodiesel do not emit black smoke can help to alleviate current environmental pollution problems caused by fossil fuels, especially greenhouse effects. Biodiesel produced from palm oil, or palm diesel, produced using patented PORIM (Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia)/PETRONAS (Petroliam Nasional) production technology has been widely tested as a substitute in a wide range of diesel engines. In fact, biodiesel possesses fuel properties comparable to those of petroleum diesel. The effort and initiative to utilize palm oil as an alternative energy source are also in accord with the Malaysian Government’s five-fuel diversification policy to include renewable energy as the fifth fuel.

Palm oil belongs to a chemical group called triglycerides, containing glycerine. The biodiesel process turns the oil into ester, separating out the glycerine, which sinks to the bottom while the biodiesel floats on top. This process is called transesterification, which substitute’s alcohol for the glycerine in a chemical reaction, using a catalyst. A variety of catalysts can be

. Examples of other catalysts are tabulated in Table 1 on the next page. a basic catalyst. acids such as sulphuric acid. ion exchange resins. Therefore. The standard temperature for the reaction to occur is 60°C. The alcoxy reaction is R – CH2OH + NaOH  H2O + R – CH2ONa The alcohol – oil molar ratio that should be used varies from N = 1:1 – 6:1. Figure 1: Transesterification process NaOH is used with methanol. but depending on the type of catalyst different temperatures will give different degrees of conversion. for instance basic ones such as sodium or potassium hydroxides. Base-catalyzed processes are generally more efficient and less corrosive than using acid. In this process it is better to produce the alcoxy before the reaction to obtain a better global efficiency. lipases and supercritical fluids. namely sodium hydroxide (NaOH) is required. the temperature range should be from 25 to 120°C. In this experiment. However N = 6:1 is commonly used giving an important conversion for the catalyst without using too much alcohol.used.

1 g) measuring cylinder. heater.0 0.0 0. sodium hydroxide lye (NaOH.Table 1: Experimental conversions to methyl ester for different catalysts CATALYST NaOH Amberlyst A26 Amberlyst A27 Amberlyst 15 MELCat XZO682:01 MELCat XZO645:01 TIS TILCOM STC SnCl2 MgO USY-292 Novozym 435 CATALYST TYPE Strongly basic Anion-exchange resin Anion-exchange resin Cation-exchange resin Sulphate doped zirconium hydroxide Silica doped zirconium hydroxide Titanium silicate Titanium chelate Lewis acid Metallic oxide Zeolite Immobilized lipase CONVERSION (%) 100.7 0.2 0.2 Chemicals : Palm oil (1 L). methanol (99% pure).0 Temperature = 60°C. scales (accurate to 0. 2 L). thermometer. reaction time = 8 hours 5. PET bottles (water or soft-drinks bottle. funnel to fit HDPE container.0 0.1 0.4 0.1 Apparatus : Handy-sized lightweight plastic bag.0 APPARATUS AND CHEMICALS 5.0 0.0 11. blender. duct tape 5.5 L).5 3. at least 96% pure) . translucent white HDPE (#2 plastic) container with stopper and screw-on cap (0.6 0.

8. RECORD BIODIESEL NET WEIGHT IN TABLE 2. 12. 10.9 g (99%) OR 5.5 g of NaOH pellets (96% pure) into the plastic bag on the scales and close it quickly. DO NOT PUT THE MAGNETIC BAR YET. 4. RECORD PALM OIL NET WEIGHT IN TABLE 1. 6.6.3 g (92%) OR 5. Weigh an empty beaker and weigh it again containing 1 L palm oil. Preheat the palm oil to 55°C. Swirl the mixture in the cone for a minute or so five or six times until the mixture inside is clear with no undissolved particles. Put in the magnetic bar and set the stirring mode at lower speed for at least 20 minutes. Close it with the stopper. 3. Measure 200 mL methanol and pour it into the cone using the funnel. NOTE : NaOH absorbs water from the atmosphere rapidly and water can interfere with biodiesel reaction NOTE : If 96% NaOH is not provided. Weigh another empty beaker and collect the biodiesel layer. Add NaOH to the methanol using a second funnel. 11. Pour the methoxide carefully into the oil. 5. Stop the stirring process and transfer the mixture into the separatory funnel (with stopcock tap closed). 9. .0 METHODOLOGY 1.8 g (85%). use 4. Open the stopcock tap to drain off the bottom glycerine layer. Measure 3. 7. Let the mixture settle for 1 – 2 hours. The mixture is now methoxide. 2.

32g 754.09g 304.7.46g 701.0 RESULT OF ANALYSIS Table 1: Weight of 1 L Palm Oil Weight of beaker + 1 L palm oil – Weight of empty beaker Net weight of 1 L palm oil 1328.63g Percentage of biodiesel produced: .83g Table 2: Weight of Biodiesel Weight of beaker + biodiesel – Weight of empty beaker Net weight of biodiesel 1006.15g 573.

namely the biodiesel. the reaction has no other inputs than the triglyceride and the alcohol. Both the biodiesel and by-product layers can exist in a variety of colours according to the oil used.0 DISCUSSION From the experiment. as it will clear eventually after a long time period. and an excess of usually six parts alcohol to one part triglyceride is added to drive the reaction to completion. a slight excess is factored in to provide the catalyst for the transesterification. The 10 – 20% of palm oil will produce glyceride from this reaction. and the reaction temperature. NaOH catalyst. While adding the base. . the nature and the amount of catalyst. ethanol or methanol is used. After settling. The biodiesel might be clear or it might still be cloudy. the percentage of biodiesel produced is 92. This ester has received much attention as a biodiesel with the advantages of non-toxicity and low emissions. This shows that 80 – 90% of palm oil will produce biodiesel from the methanol and palm oil with sodium hydroxide. dark-coloured glyceride will collect as a layer at the bottom of the bottle. The alcohol is deprotonated with a base to make it a stronger nucleophile. The calculated quantity of base (usually sodium hydroxide) is added slowly to the alcohol and it is stirred until it dissolves. Usually it’s pale and yellowish.8. As can be seen. Sufficient alcohol is added to make up three full equivalents of the triglyceride. which is however not a problem. A fatty acid ester is produced by the transesterification of triglycerides. which is one of the main constituents of vegetable oils. The three most important parameters affecting triglyceride transesterification are the molar ratio of the methanol to the triglyceride. with a clear line of separation from the pale liquid above which is going to be decanted. Commonly. and alcohol.95 %.

M.. NaOH homogenize c) The temperature during the mixing the palm oil must below 60 to get maximum yield during reaction with methanol and sodium hydroxide catalyst.0 PRECAUTION There are some precautions that need to consider such as: a) Make sure the methanol and sodium hydroxide powder. Sonomoto. and Lee.9. v.. p... Through transesterification.F. J.. J. 11. D.. 2001.S.K. E. H.0 CONCLUSION Biodiesel can be produced from palm oil by transesterification with methanol. palm oil reacts with methanol to form biodiesel and glycerine. Crabbe. Kim. G. 65 – 71.U.. and Errazu. V. A. Possible methods for biodiesel production: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.S. Miguel.. 315–320 .. Y.. Kobayashi.M.. 1300 – 1311. Biodiesel production from crude palm oil and evaluation of butanol extraction and fuel properties: Process Biochemistry..Y. 93–95. NaOH 10. B..0 REFERENCES Marchetti. p. catalyzed by sodium hydroxide. Park. Kang. Lee. Kim. 11. v. Nolasco-Hipolito.J. K. which are separable liquid phases.. C.J. 2004. v. Transesterification of vegetable oil to biodiesel using heterogeneous base catalyst: Catalysis Today. K.M. Kim. A. and Ishizaki. NaOH dissolve until no particle powder at bottom of beaker b) Mix the palm oil with the methanol and sodium hydroxide. 37.. 2007. p.

424030 .34  .3   $  2     !.  /884.242:89-04 94092.3/ 1:0 574507908!74.0 8:70 90 209.3/ 8.9439209.708420570.9:70/:739023905.07 .24990209....80 .3 -0 574/:.0/ 1742 5.943#030.8 .--0    4.08 .34 097.099     :0  ' &  .3/ 84/:2 /74/0 54/07  ..943 41 -:9.9.943 5.34 .2 4 - 97.3/84/:2/74/0.7.3/ 00        %7.808      ##$   .9. !#&%   %070.  5     2     .9-4994241-0.0/ - 84/:2 /74/0 %74:97.3.34941472 -4/080 .9.02897 ...7:/0 5.2470.38089071.943 1742 .34.943 41 .438/078:.-0 4 94 -4/080 :83 090740304:8 -.-0..0730 .943 .34.-0307#0. 905.  5      7.7.8    $4342494    .:94389.2 4 .0 :39 34 5..054/07.3/84/:2/74/0 .   5     .3/$:89.989 209..-06:/5.       4/080 574/:.70805.88 %4/..9300/94..3/ 0.  %0902507.0884.38089071..3/.79.943 9 209..9.89 .8.      &$   4/080 .:        !488-0 2094/8 147 -4/080 574/:.89 .38089071.3/ 77.4 5494    4-.009.2:20/ /:7370.7     2     00   $  .:.  . ...