Parametric Study on Thermal Decarboxylation of Coconut Oil Using Magnesium Oxide as Catalyst

Author : Condecion, Gino Luna
Major Adviser : Capunitan, Jewel A.
Committee Members : Bambase Jr., Manolito E.; Borines, Myra G.; Demafelis, Rex B.; Movillon, Jovita L.
Year : 2015
Month : July
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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The thermal decarboxylation of coconut oil using magnesium oxide as catalyst and kerosene as solvent was investigated in this study via a 2k factorial experiment. The sample containing the oil dissolved in the solvent, together with the catalyst, was heated for three hours to determine the effect of three parameters – temperature (150°C and 200°C), solvent concentration (76.92 wt% and 90.91 wt%) and catalyst loading (0.99 wt% and 23.08 wt%). The percentage of triglycerides (TAGs) in the oil that reacted was quantified by determining the change in the amount of triglycerides before and after the reaction. Temperature, catalyst, solvent, temperature-solvent interaction and catalyst-solvent interaction significantly affected the percentage of reacted triglycerides. Highest percent of triglyceride reacted was observed to be 70.64% ± 5.38% at 200oC, 90.91 wt% solvent and 23.08 wt% catalyst. Under the range of parameters considered in the study and at 350oC calcination temperature for magnesium oxide, the highest percentage of TAGs that reacted was attained by setting all the factors at their high values. Results showed the potential of using coconut oil, an abundant and readily available biomass source, as a feedstock for thermal decarboxylation, using magnesium oxide as catalyst.

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