Parametric Study on Thermal Decarboxylation of Coconut Oil Using Calcium Carbonate as Catalyst

Author : Paz, Gillianne Alyana Omadto
Major Adviser : Borines, Myra G.
Committee Members : Movillon, Jovita L.; Demafelis, Rex B.; Bambase Jr., Manolito E.; Capunitan, Jewel A.
Year : 2015
Month : June
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
Related Articles:
This manuscript can be accessed: Only after the consultation with author or adviser


Presently, the Philippines has now progressed in terms of biodiesel and bioethanol production for gasoline and diesel engines. In terms of aviation fuel, the country is still dependent on foreign imports. Thus, there is a need for alternative processes for aviation biofuel production. This study will serve as precursor in the production of alternative aviation biofuels by employing decarboxylation for the production of hydrocarbons from coconut oil. This study investigated the potential of calcium carbonate, a mineral catalyst, significantly cheaper in comparison with the presently utilized catalysts in aviation biofuel production. The decarboxylation runs were investigated using a reaction vessel on an oil bath connected to a reflux condenser and run for three hours. A 2k factorial design was employed in the experiment where low and high values were set for the three parameters: reaction temperature (150oC and 200oC), catalyst loading (1% and 30% mass of catalyst over mass of feed), and amount of solvent (76.92% and 90.91% mass of solvent over mass of solution). Thin-layer chromatography was utilized as the main analytical procedure to determine the response of the runs. Results from the analysis confirmed that decarboxylation at low temperatures at ambient pressure using calcium carbonate as catalyst is possible. Change in catalyst loading showed the most significant effect on the reaction with coconut oil. With the high and low levels of catalyst loading, percent solvent and temperature chosen for the process, the experimental runs showed that the three parameters had significant effects on the decarboxylation process.

Go back to Research Abstracts