Phase equilibrium of biodiesel compounds for the triolein plus palmitic acid plus methanol system with dimethyl ether as cosolvent

Maeda, K; Kuramochi, H; Fujimoto, T; Asakuma, Y; Fukui, K; Osako, M; Nakamura, K; Sakai, S (2008) Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data, 53(4): 973-977

In biodiesel production, transesterification in a homogeneous mixture is possible if a solution of triolein and methanol could be prepared with the use of a cosolvent. The volatile solvent dimethyl ether (DME) can make the immiscible mixture of triolein and methanol miscible; moreover, it can be easily recovered due to its high volatility after reaction. Therefore, the vapor-liquid-liquid equilibrium for the triolein + fatty acid-methanol + DME system was measured by determining the liquid composition, temperature, and pressure of the system. Results showed that DME and palmitic acid effectively promoted the mutual solubilities of triolein and methanol. In addition, the UNIFAC prediction was compared with experimental data, and it was found that the UNIFAC model could represent the complicated phase equilibrium of biodiesel compounds.