Synthesis of Solid Catalyst from Dolomite for Biodiesel Production using Palm Kernel Oil in an Optimization Process by Definitive Screening Design


A solid catalyst for biodiesel production was synthesized from dolomite by calcination at different temperatures of 800 and 900oC for 2 h. The catalyst was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Brunauer Emmett Teller (BET). Its performance in the production of palm kernel biodiesel (PKB) using palm kernel oil in an optimization study was carried out by a definitive screening design. The varying process parameters for the optimization were methanol:oil molar ratio, reaction temperature, catalyst quantity, reaction time and dolomite calcination temperature. Tendency and extent of the catalyst reusability were also studied. The catalysts were found to contain calcium and magnesium oxides with morphological structures of: surface areas 507 and 560 m2/g, pore volumes 0.180 and 0.199 cm3/g, and pore sizes 27.07 and 31.48 Ȃ for Dolomite Catalyst Calcined (DCC) at 800oC (DCC800) and DCC at 900oC (DCC900), respectively. The optimal parameters of methanol:oil molar ratio 12:1, temperature 65oC, catalyst quantity 8% (w/w), time 4 h and DCC800 gave an optimum yield of 98.69% biodiesel. The catalyst was reused for the 8th cycle after which the %yield of PKB decreased by <4%. It can be concluded that the dolomite catalyst has a great activity and potential as a viable catalyst for quality biodiesel production.



Fatty acid methyl esters;, Definitive screening design;, Palm kernel oil;, Dolomite;, Catalyst


Brazilian Society of Chemical Engineering, 36(2) 979-994