Kinetics of Transesterification of Soybean Oil
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Transesterification of soybean oil with methanol was investigated. Three stepwise and reversible reacttons are believed to occur. The effect of variations in mixing intensity (Reynolds number = 3,100 to 12,400) and temperature (30 to 70'CJ on the rate oireaction were studied while the molar ratio of alcohol to triglycerol (6:l) and the concentration of catalyst (0.20 wt% based on soybean oil) were held constant. The variations in mixing intensity appear to effect the reaction parallel to the variations in temperature. A reaction mechanism consisting of an initial mass transfer-controlled region followed by a kinetically controlled region is proposed. The experimental data for the latter region appear to be a good fit into a second-order kinetic mechanism. The reaction rate constants and the activation energies were determined for all the forward and reverse reactions.
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