Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Research and Publications



Kinetics of Transesterification of Soybean Oil

Date of this Version

March 1997


This article was published in © Journal of American oil Chemists society, Paper no. J8322 in JAOCS 74, 1457-1463 (1997) Article#: 1948 © American Oil Chemists Society. Published version of this article is available at publisher site:


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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