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Bioresour Technol. 2002 Dec;85(3):253-6.

Experimental evaluation of the transesterification of waste palm oil into biodiesel.

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  • 1Department of Agricultural Engineering & Technology, Jordan University of Science & Technology, Irbid.


Transesterified vegetable oils (VOs) are promising alternative diesel fuel. Waste VOs are cheap and renewable but currently disposed of inadequately. In this work, waste palm oil was transesterified under various conditions. H2SO4 and different concentrations of HCl and ethanol at different excess levels were used. Higher catalyst concentrations (1.5-2.25 M) produced biodiesel with lower specific gravity, gamma, in a much shorter reaction time than lower concentrations. The H2SO4 performed better than HCl at 2.25 M, as it resulted in lower gamma. Moreover, a 100% excess alcohol effected significant reductions in reaction time and lower gamma relative to lower excess levels. The best process combination was 2.25 M H2SO4 with 100% excess ethanol which reduced gamma from an initial value of 0.916 to a final value of 0.8737 in about 3 h of reaction time. Biodiesel had the behavior of a Newtonian fluid.

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