Title

Supercritical Fluid Transesterification for the Catalyst-Free Production of Biodiesel

Presenter Information

Timothy Smiley

Department

Chemistry

Major

Chemistry

Research Advisor

Nam, Paul Ki-souk

Advisor's Department

Chemistry

Funding Source

Missouri Life Sciences Research Board; USDA-CSREES

Abstract

Non-catalytic supercritical transesterification reaction provides a new way of producing biodiesel fuel from bio-based oils (triglycerides). To find the supercritical reaction conditions that are best suited for the biodiesel production, experiments were conducted first with soybean oil. The soybean oil was treated with a supercritical mixture of methanol and carbon dioxide without the aid of traditional alkali or acid catalyst. The reaction parameters investigated were the reaction time and temperature at a constant pressure (24 MPa) and a molar ratio (41:1 alcohol to triglycerides), and their effect on the biodiesel formation. Addition of a co-solvent, supercritical carbon dioxide, increased the rate of the transesterification reaction, making it possible to obtain high yields at less harsh conditions.

Biography

Timothy Smiley is from Blacksburg, VA. He is a junior in the Chemistry department, and after college wants to work for a company that is involved in making chemical processes more environmentally friendly.

Research Category

Sciences

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Location

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Presentation Date

08 Apr 2009, 9:00 am - 11:45 am

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Apr 8th, 9:00 AM Apr 8th, 11:45 AM

Supercritical Fluid Transesterification for the Catalyst-Free Production of Biodiesel

Upper Atrium/Hallway

Non-catalytic supercritical transesterification reaction provides a new way of producing biodiesel fuel from bio-based oils (triglycerides). To find the supercritical reaction conditions that are best suited for the biodiesel production, experiments were conducted first with soybean oil. The soybean oil was treated with a supercritical mixture of methanol and carbon dioxide without the aid of traditional alkali or acid catalyst. The reaction parameters investigated were the reaction time and temperature at a constant pressure (24 MPa) and a molar ratio (41:1 alcohol to triglycerides), and their effect on the biodiesel formation. Addition of a co-solvent, supercritical carbon dioxide, increased the rate of the transesterification reaction, making it possible to obtain high yields at less harsh conditions.