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Facile preparation of Heterogeneous Silica-Based Catalyst for Transesterification of Palm Fatty Acid Distillate
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  • ZAINAB NGAINI,
  • Nurfarahen Jamil,
  • Rafeah Wahi,
  • Farra Shahrom,
  • Zainal Ahmad
ZAINAB NGAINI
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
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Nurfarahen Jamil
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
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Rafeah Wahi
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
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Farra Shahrom
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
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Zainal Ahmad
Polytechnic Kuching Sarawak
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Abstract

In this study, heterogeneous silica-based catalyst was prepared from rice husk using a facile method for transesterification of palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD) into biodiesel. Huskcatacid and Huskcatbase were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area and pore size analysis. Results showed that Huskcatacid was efficiently employed in esterification of PFAD to afford 91.6% ester in 1:1 (PFAD:MeOH) and 5 wt% catalyst, followed by transesterification in 1:1 (oil: MeOH) using Huskcatbase (1 wt%) to produce 97.5% biodiesel in 30 min, with high percentage of methyl palmitate (34.43%) and methyl oleate (57.86%). Both Huskcatacid and Huskcatbase have high porosity (2.726 x 10-3 cm3/g and 4.985 x 10-3 cm3/g) and surface area (7.362 m2/g and 14.493 m2/g), respectively, which offer efficient esterification, easy glycerol separation and reusability up to three times to afford biodiesel ranging from 90-97% yield. The biodiesel obtained was applied on Megatech®-Mark III engine and demonstrated a proportional increased of torque (ɽ) with the B100 biodiesel loading. Rice husk demonstrated a good potential as solid support heterogeneous catalysts and feedstock for value-added products, which also assists to overcome agricultural waste management issues.