Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Research and Publications


Date of this Version

December 1998


This article was published in © Journal of American oil Chemists' society, Paper no. J8775 in JAOCS 75, 1775-1783 (1998)Article#: 1700 © American Oil Chemists' Society. Published version of this article is available at publisher site:


A continuous process for the transesterification of triglycerides to methyl esters was investigated in a pilot plant. The process was equipped with a motionless and a high-shear mixer. The experimental studies explored variations in the mixing intensity, stoichiometry, and catalyst concentration on the overall conversion. The combined as well as individual effect of mixers was examined. The developed process resulted in high conversions of vegetable oils into methyl esters. Conversion of triglycerides to methyl esters in excess of 98% was achieved. Larger excess amounts of alcohol favored higher conversions. The motionless and high-shear mixers each provided adequate mixing for the process. Higher catalyst concentrations resulted in higher conversions but increased the solubility of methyl esters in the glycerol layer. This reduced the amount of methyl esters separated by gravity settling.

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