Esterification of palm fatty acid distillate with epychlorohydrin using cation exchange resin catalyst
Palm Fatty Acid Distillate (PFAD) is one of the wastes from the conversion of crude palm oil (CPO) into cooking oil. The PFAD is currently only utilized as the raw material for low grade soap and biofuel. To improve the economic value of PFAD, it was converted into monoglyceride by esterification process. Furthermore, the monoglyceride could be polymerized to form alkyd resin, which is a commodity of increasing importance. This study aimed to propose a kinetics model for esterification of PFAD with epichlorohydrin using cation exchange resin catalyst. The reaction was the first step from a series of reactions to produce the monoglyceride. In this study, the reaction between PFAD and epichlorohydirne was run in a stirred batch reactor. The stirrer was operated at a constant speed of 400 RPM. The reaction was carried out for 180 minutes on varied temperatures of 60°C, 70°C, 80°C, dan 90°C. Cation exchange resin was applied as solid catalysts. Analysis was conducted periodically by measuring the acid number of the samples, which was further used to calculate PFAD conversion. The data were used to determine the rate constants and the equilibrium constants of the kinetics model. The kinetics constants implied that the reaction was reversible and controlled by the intrinsic surface reaction. Despite the complication of the heterogeneous nature of the reaction, the kinetics data well fitted the elementary rate law. The effect of temperature on the equilibrium constants indicated that the reaction is exothermic.