General Information
    • ISSN: 2010-0221
    • Frequency: Bimonthly
    • DOI: 10.18178/IJCEA
    • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Shen-Ming Chen
    • Executive Editor: Mr. Ron C. Wu
    • Abstracting/ Indexing: Chemical Abstracts Services (CAS), Ulrich's Periodicals Directory, CABI, Electronic Journals Library, Google Scholar, ProQuest, and Crossref
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Prof. Dr. Shen-Ming Chen
National Taipei University of Technology, Taiwan

IJCEA 2010 Vol.1(1): 77-83 ISSN: 2010-0221
DOI: 10.7763/IJCEA.2010.V1.13

Feasibility Study of Reactive Distillation Column for Transesterification of Palm Oils

Chokchai Mueanmas, Kulchanat Prasertsit, and Chakrit Tongurai
Abstract—The production of biodiesel by transesterification in existing processes requires excess alcohol, typically 100%, over its stoichiometric requirement in order to drive the chemical reaction to complete. This excess alcohol must be recovered and purified for reusing by rectification and distillation, which involves additional capital and operating costs. Therefore, combination of reactor and distillation column in only one unit called reactive distillation column (RD) may lead to an enormous capital-investment cost reduction.  This research is proposed the feasibility study of biodiesel production from palm oil by transesterification using reactive distillation. The hypothesis is to reduce the amount of alcohol in the feed stream closing to its stoichiometric ratio with oil. This dues to the less energy used in the methanol recovery for the processes. The effects of process parameters were conducted by lab scale RD packed column. The results indicated that process parameters of 900 ml/hr flow rate, reboiler temperature 90°C with 4.0:1 molar ratio of methanol to oil and residence time of 5 minutes in the column produced 92.75 percent biodiesel purity.

Index Terms-Biodiesel, Palm oil, Reactive Distillation, Transesterification

Chokchai Mueanmas, Kulchanat Prasertsit and Chakrit Tongurai, Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla, 90112, Thailand.
Corresponding author. Tel.: +6674-287289; fax: +6674-212896 ( e-mail address:


Cite: Chokchai Mueanmas, Kulchanat Prasertsit and Chakrit Tongurai, "Feasibility Study of Reactive Distillation Column for Transesterification of Palm Oils,"  Internatinal Journal of Chemical Engineering and Application vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 77-83, 2010.

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