Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Research and Publications


Date of this Version

February 2004


This article is the preprint of the article published in © Journal of American oil Chemists society , Paper no. J10701, vol 81 No 1,203-207 (February 2004).Article#: 3212 © American Oil Chemists Society. This article is available at publisher site:


A continuous process for the glycerolysis of soybean oil with pure and crude glycerol, the co-product from the transesterification of soybean oil was investigated in a pilot plant. The process was equipped with a motionless and a high-shear mixer. The experimental studies explored the effects of variations in mixing intensity, temperature, reactant flow rates, and reactant stoichiometry on the formation of MG and DC. The developed process resulted in high conversion of TC to MC. The most favorable conditions were 230°C, 40 mL/min total flow, 25 mm of reaction time, 2.5:1 molar ratio of glycerol/soybean oil, and 3600 rpm for the reactions involving crude glycerol where the concentrations of MC and DC in the product were about 56 and 36 wt%, respectively. Under similar conditions, glycerolysis of pure glycerol resulted in 58% MC and 33% DC. In general, higher temperatures and mixing intensities favored the conversion of TC to MC and DC. Reaction temperature had a greater influence on the extent of the reaction than mixing. The formation of MC approached equilibrium for nearly all cases under investigations.

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