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Energies  2009 

Esterification of Fatty Acids with Short-Chain Alcohols over Commercial Acid Clays in a Semi-Continuous Reactor

DOI: 10.3390/en20401107

Keywords: esterification, montmorillonite, semi-continuous reactor, fatty acid, hydrated alcohol

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Production of fatty acid esters from stearic, oleic, and palmitic acids and short-chain alcohols (methanol, ethanol, propanol, and butanol) for the production of biodiesel was investigated in this work. A series of montmorillonite-based clays catalysts (KSF, KSF/0, KP10, and K10) were used as acidic catalysts. The influence of the specific surface area and the acidity of the catalysts on the esterification rate were investigated. The best catalytic activities were obtained with KSF/0 catalyst. The esterification reaction has been carried out efficiently in a semi-continuous reactor at 150°C temperature higher than the boiling points of water and alcohol. The reactor used enabled the continuous removal of water and esterification with hydrated alcohol (ethanol 95%) without affecting the original activity of the clay.


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