Methanolysis of Refined Coconut Oil using Pelletized Hydroxide-Impregnated Calcium Oxide as Heterogeneous Catalyst

Author : Toledo, Roland Emil Dulce
Major Adviser : Bambase Jr., Manolito E.
Committee Members : Dizon, Lisa Stephanie H.; Guerrero, Gino Apollo M.; Sanchez, Denise Ester S. 
Year : 2019
Month : July
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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As an improvement to continuous biodiesel production process, the pelletization of heterogeneous catalysts is significant in addressing pressure drop, retention, and localized clumping. In this study, recently developed hydroxide-impregnated calcium oxide catalyst has been pelletized via binder-based extrusion. Utilizing calcium sulfate hemihydrate (Plaster of Paris) and calcium hydroxide as binders, 2 mm x 2 mm pellets of satisfactory physical integrity were produced. In order to test the interaction of selected binders and binder loading with the active catalyst and compare their performance, the pellets were employed for laboratory scale, batch methanolysis reactions of refined coconut oil. The reaction conditions and bases used were 50 g of oil, 6:1 methanol- oil molar ratio, 1.15 THF-methanol molar ratio, binder-free catalyst loading of 15 % of oil weight, at 30 ᵒC for 10 minutes. The levels emerge from varying the pellet composition to adjust binder loading into high and low setting, and creating alternate runs where co-solvent THF is present. Corresponding blanks which lack the active catalyst were also tested. Results show that between the binders, only calcium hydroxide-bound pellets have observable performance. These pellets show significant performance compared to powdered catalyst only (p = 0.0307), and thus signify catalytic activity of this binder, supported by the conversions achieved by the blanks. Presence of co-solvent with calcium hydroxide blanks has lower performance (p = 0.0129) than that of unaided. Presence of THF has negligible effect on binder loading (p = 0.4794). Calcium-hydroxide bound pellets have thus been developed as heterogeneous catalyst pellets eligible for further development.

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