CHEMICAL ENGINEERING COMMUNICATIONS, vol.196, no.1-2, pp.80-92, 2009 (SCI-Expanded)
Catalytic activities of synthesized solid base catalysts (alumina loaded with solution of different potassium compounds such as KI, KF, K(2)CO(3), and KNO(3) with the loading amount of 35 wt.%) were tested for the transesterification reaction of canola oil with methanol and ethanol in a batch reactor in a temperature range of 25-60 degrees C and different feed ratios of methanol/oil between 6:1 and 18:1. Synthesized KF/Al(2)O(3) solid base catalyst showed the highest activity in the transesterification of canola oil with methanol and gave much stabler methyl ester content during the reaction with the highest yield of 99.6% at the end of the eight-hour reaction time at 60 degrees C, with a methanol/oil ratio of 15:1 and a catalyst amount of 3wt.%. Formation of K(2)O phase and the formation of the surface Al-O-K groups by salt-support interactions were observed during the synthesis of the catalysts. Methanol was found to be much more reactive than ethanol in the transesterification reaction.