Research Article
Value-added Products from Palm Sludge Oil

Nursulihatimarsyila Abd. Wafti, Harrison Lau Lik Nang and Choo Yuen May

Journal of Applied Sciences, 2012, 12(11), 1199-1202.

Abstract

The very short chain fatty acid has been recovered from palm sludge oils, a by-product of palm oil mills using vacuum distillation method. The recovered very short chain fatty acid contains mainly C6 fatty acid which is a valuable fine chemical in perfume industry. The very short chain fatty acid perfume esters were then synthesised using ethanol with sulphuric acid as catalyst. The reaction conditions were alcohol- very short chain fatty acid volume ratio of 2:1, 1.5% wt of sulphuric acid at temperature of 120°C for 20 min. The yield of very short chain fatty acid esters after distillation and purification processes was 50 to 60% wt. The treated palm sludge oils, after recovering of very short chain fatty acid was subjected to esterification using solid acid catalyst followed by conventional transesterification for biodiesel production. The free fatty acid in palm sludge oils was successfully reduced from 65% to less than 2% prior to transesterification. The conversion of free fatty acid to methyl ester and final yield of biodiesel were 98 and 83%, respectively. This paper demonstrates total utilisation of palm sludge oils by producing valuable very short chain fatty acid before converting it into biodiesel.

ASCI-ID: 35-4533

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