Synthesis and characterization of metal sulfates loaded palm empty fruit bunch for biodiesel production

Ishfaq, Rahila (2021) Synthesis and characterization of metal sulfates loaded palm empty fruit bunch for biodiesel production. Masters thesis, Universiti Tun Hussein Malaysia.


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Biodiesel has been globally accepted as a green substitute for diesel fuel. It is obtained from renewable sources such as vegetable oils and animal fats. Recently, the application of edible sources in the production of biodiesel has caused a lot of debate due to the insecurity of food. The alternative feasible technique is the use of inedible and low-grade sources such as palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD). Although it could be the answer to more economic biodiesel, its high free fatty acid (FFA) content causes biodiesel production commercially unfavorable when homogeneous catalysts are used. Hence, the development and use of heterogeneous acid catalysts, obtained from biomass waste are most economically viable to produce biodiesel from low-grade feedstocks. In this work, the production of biodiesel (FAME) from PFAD using solid acid catalysts (SACs) derived from palm empty fruit bunch (PEFB) is investigated. The SACs were synthesized through impregnation of different metal sulfate precursors, i.e. ferrous sulfate heptahydrate (FeSO4.7H2O), copper sulfate pentahydrate (CuSO4.5H2O) and magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (MgSO4.7H2O) over PEFB. Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) observations found that impregnation-calcination resulted in attachment of sulfur (S) and improved surface porosity. Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FT-IR) showed that there were different interactions between metal sulfates and PEFB. X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) found that the synthesized SACs have a crystalline structure. FePEFB catalyst showed the highest acid density (2.44 mmol/g) among the catalysts studied. In order to evaluate the catalytic performance of the catalysts, the esterification of PFAD was carried out. Finally, optimization of process variables was conducted to study the effect of methanol : PFAD molar ratio, catalyst dosage, reaction temperature and reaction time on FFA conversion (%). Maximum FFA conversion of 89.13% was obtained over Fe-PEFB at 14:1 methanol : PFAD molar ratio, 7 wt.% catalyst dosage, at 70 °C and 6 hours of reaction time. Thus, the present study offers a sustainable and environmentally benign method for biodiesel production.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TP Chemical technology > TP315-360 Fuel
Divisions: Faculty of Applied Science and Technology > Department of Physics and Chemistry
Depositing User: Mrs. Sabarina Che Mat
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2022 07:26
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2022 07:26

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