EPE  Vol.7 No.4 , April 2015
Modelling the Kinetics of Jatropha Oil Transesterification
Abstract: Kinetics of a chemical reaction provides an important means of determining the extent of the reaction and in reactor designs. Transesterification of jatropha oil with methanol and sodium hydroxide as a catalyst was conducted in a well mixed reactor at different agitation speeds between 600 and 800 rpm and temperature range between 35°C and 65°C. The effect of variation of temperature and mixing intensity on rate constants were studied. The initial mass transfer controlled stage was considered negligible using the above impeller speeds and second order mechanism was considered for the chemically controlled kinetic stage. Samples were collected from the reaction mixture at specified time intervals and quenched in a mixture of tetrahydrofuran (THF) and sulphuric acid. The mixture was centrifuged at 2000 rpm for 15 minutes and the methyl ester was separated from the glycerol. The ester was washed with warm water (50°C), dried and analysed using gas chromatography coupled with flame ionization detector (GC/FID) to determine free and total glycerine and methyl ester. A mathematical model was fitted using second order rate law. High temperature and high mixing intensity increased reaction rates. The model fitted well with a high correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.999.
Cite this paper: Okullo, A. and Temu, A. (2015) Modelling the Kinetics of Jatropha Oil Transesterification. Energy and Power Engineering, 7, 135-143. doi: 10.4236/epe.2015.74013.

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