Epoxidation of Unsaturated Oleic Acids via in Situ Catalytic Performic Acid

Document Type : Research Article


1 School of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA Cawangan Johor, Kampus Pasir Gudang, 81750 Masai, Johor, MALAYSIA

2 Centre for Chemical Engineering Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA Cawangan Pulau Pinang, Kampus Permatang Pauh, 13500 Permatang Pauh, Pulau Pinang, MALAYSIA

3 MM Biomass Global (M) Sdn. Bhd, MALAYSIA


Studies on the epoxidation of fatty acids have garnered much interest in recent years due to the rising demand for eco-friendly epoxides derived from vegetable oils. This study aims to optimize the process parameters of epoxidation of palm oleic acid via an in situ peracid mechanism with an applied homogenous catalyst. Oleic acid was epoxidized using performic acid generated in situ through the reaction between hydrogen peroxide and formic acid when sulfuric acid was applied as a catalyst. The optimum reaction condition of epoxide was at the temperature of 45°C, the molar ratio of formic acid to oleic acid at 1.64:1 and the molar ratio of hydrogen peroxide to oleic acid at 2:1. Lastly, a mathematical model was developed using the numerical Runge Kutta- 4th Order method. In the model, the method was applied with a genetic algorithm optimization to determine the process model that fit the experimental data using MATLAB software. After 100 iterations, the reaction rate constant for epoxidized oleic acid production was:  k11 = 1.9305 L/mol. min, k12 =15.2284 L/mol. min, k21 = 0.0570 L/mol. min, k31 = 0.0106 L/mol. min. Overall, epoxidized oleic acid was successfully produced by in situ performic acid mechanism with 80% relative conversion to oxirane. 


Main Subjects

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