Comparison of three methods for rendering plant fat transesterification

https://doi.org/10.17221/19/2011-RAECitation:Prošková A., Kučera J., Kopicová Z., Škarková L. (2013): Comparison of three methods for rendering plant fat transesterification. Res. Agr. Eng., 59: 51-55.
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Three most frequently used methods for fat transesterification were compared using rendering plant fat (RPF) as model. Acid-catalysed transesterification was found to be the most effective (conversion 90%) at optimum conditions (fat: methanol ratio 1:10, sulphuric acid amount of 2% v/v, temperature 95°C). Base-catalysed transesterification of RPF on the other hand, results in much lower conversion (45%) at optimum conditions (fat:methanol ratio 1:20, NaOH amount 8% w/v, optimum temperature 95°C). The difference is done (among others) by the fact that RPF has high concentration of free acid (high acidity number) compared with the fats usually used for transesterification and that free acids are not esterified in alkaline media. Enzyme-(lipase) catalysed reaction could lead to partial esterification of free fatty acids, but with much lower reaction velocity. This fact leads to higher conversion in the case of enzyme-catalysed transesterification of RPF compared with base-catalysed reaction; nevertheless, even in this case the conversion is much lower in comparison with acid-catalysed reaction. The optimum conversion in enzyme-catalysed reaction was 55%.  
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