Parametric Study on Thermal Decarboxylation of Palm Oil using Magnesium Oxide as Catalyst

Author : Gutierrez, Dianne Benedian
Major Adviser : Borines, Myra G. 
Committee Members : Capunitan, Jewel A.; Movillon, Jovita A.; Bambase Jr., Manolito E.; Demafelis, Rex B. 
Year : 2016
Month : June
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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One potential biofuel source are hydrocarbons, derived from vegetable oils in a process known as thermal decarboxylation. This study involved decarboxylation process of palm oil, employing magnesium oxide as catalyst at ambient pressure. Temperature, percent catalyst w/w and percent solvent w/w were taken as factors studied using 2ᵏ factorial design. The experiment employed kerosene as solvent in a 3-hour reaction. Analysis of the decarboxylation products employed carbon dioxide tests and thin layer chromatography. From the 16 runs of the different settings of parameters performed in two trials, the highest response was obtained in the highest parameter settings (+,+,+) and lowest response was observed in the lowest parameter settings (-,-,-). This response given by the average percent oil reacted of the two trials were 81.07% (200 °C, 23.08% catalyst, 90.91% solvent) and 18.77% (150 °C, 0.99% catalyst, 76.92% solvent) respectively. Factors rendered significant were temperature and percent solvent only, the interaction of the factors were found out to be insignificant, as well as the percentage of the catalyst used.

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