Continuous Biodiesel Production from Waste Cooking Oil Using Homogeneous Catalyst with Microwave Heating
Biodiesel is a renewable transportation fuel consisting of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), generally produced by
trans-esterification of vegetable oils or animal fats. At present, a continuous flow system has been developed to increase
manufacturing capacity of biodiesel from waste cooking oil that is generated from a number of sectors. Since waste cooking
palm oil contained large amount of fatty acids, which inhibit the trans-esterification reaction and forms soap, it has to be
treated in an esterification process first so that the free fatty acids content is lower than 1 wt. % of oil. This research aims to
produce biodiesel from waste cooking palm oil in a continuous flow system assisted by microwave irradiation.
Esterification of waste cooking palm oil at 60oC, alcohol-to-oil molar ratio of 12:1, catalyst concentration of 6 wt. % of fatty
acid, volumetric flow rate of 520 ml/min, was able to reduce the amount of free fatty acids from 2.25 wt. % to 0.56 wt. % of
oil. The optimum conditions for the production of biodiesel from treated waste cooking palm oil was at 60๐C, alcohol-to-oil
ratio of 12:1 volumetric flow rate of 520 ml/min and the catalyst concentration of 2.5 wt. % of oil, with 99.1% yield and
97.79 wt. % methyl ester.
Index term- Biodiesel, Palm Oil, Transesterification, Esterification, Microwave irradiation.