Box-Behnken Design for Optimization on Biodiesel Production from Palm Oil and Methyl Acetate using Ultrasound Assisted Interesterification Method
Energy demand is currently increasing in line with technological and economic developments, but not accompanied by an increase in energy reserves. So we need another alternative energy that can be renewed, namely biodiesel. Biodiesel has been produced commercially through the transesterification from vegetable oil with methanol using catalyst that produces esters and glycerol. The formation of glycerol which is by-product can reduce its economic value, so it needs to be done the separation process. Therefore, a new route is proposed in this study, namely the interesterification reaction (non-alcoholic route) using methyl acetate as an alkyl group supplier and potassium methoxide catalyst. The superiority of the product produced by the interesterification reaction is biodiesel with triacetin byproducts which have an economical value and can be added to biodiesel formulations because of their solubility so that no side product separation process is needed. To increase the yield of biodiesel and the interesterification rate, the ultrasound method was used in this study. To optimize the factors that affect the interesterification reaction (molar ratio of methyl acetate to oil, catalyst concentration, temperature, and interesterification time), the Box-Behnken design (BBD) is used. Optimal operating conditions to produce the yields of biodiesel of 98.64 % are at molar ratio of methyl acetate to palm oil of 18.74, catalyst concentration of 1.24 %, temperature of 57.84 °C, and interesterification time of 12.69 minutes.