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Open AccessArticle

Optimization Using Response Surface Methodology (RSM) for Biodiesel Synthesis Catalyzed by Radiation-Induced Kenaf Catalyst in Packed-Bed Reactor

1
Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Seri Kembangan 43400, Malaysia
2
Radiation Processing Division, Malaysian Nuclear Agency, Kajang 43000, Malaysia
3
Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Seri Kembangan 43400, Malaysia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2020, 8(10), 1289; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr8101289
Received: 17 August 2020 / Revised: 21 September 2020 / Accepted: 21 September 2020 / Published: 14 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiesel Production Processes and Technology)
In this study, continuous transesterification of refined palm oil by using radiation-induced kenaf denoted as anion exchange kenaf catalyst in a packed-bed reactor was developed. The application of full factorial design and response surface methodology (RSM) based on the central composite design (CCD) was used to design the process and analyzed the effect of reactor operating variables such as packed bed height, the molar ratio of oil to ethanol and volumetric flow rate on the production of fatty acid ethyl ester (FAEE). The statistical analysis results showed that all three operating parameters affect the reaction efficiency significantly. The optimum conditions were determined to be 9.81 cm packed bed height, a molar ratio at 1:50, and a volumetric flow rate of 0.38 mL min−1. Three tests were carried out to verify the optimum combination of process parameters. The predicted and actual values of molar conversion fatty acid ethyl ester (FAEE) molar conversion were 97.29% and 96.87%, respectively. The reusability of kenaf fiber-based catalysts is discussed with a specially highlighted on fiber dissolution, leaching, and fouling. Nevertheless, the impurities absorption properties of anion exchange kenaf catalyst towards biodiesel production could eventually simplify the biodiesel purification steps and cost. In sum, anion exchange kenaf catalyst shows the potential commercial applications to transesterification of FAEE in a packed-bed reactor. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiesel; fatty acid ethyl esters; transesterification; heterogeneous catalyst; natural fiber; packed bed reactor; response surface methodology; central composite design biodiesel; fatty acid ethyl esters; transesterification; heterogeneous catalyst; natural fiber; packed bed reactor; response surface methodology; central composite design
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zabaruddin, N.H.; Abdullah, L.C.; Mohamed, N.H.; Choong, T.S.Y. Optimization Using Response Surface Methodology (RSM) for Biodiesel Synthesis Catalyzed by Radiation-Induced Kenaf Catalyst in Packed-Bed Reactor. Processes 2020, 8, 1289.

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