Efficient Production of Biodiesel Using Starch as a Heterogeneous Catalyst


Mihira Vasana

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Date of Award

Fall 2013


A sharp hike in the price of petroleum fuels has called in the need of biodiesel as a reliable and renewable substitute for petroleum-based fuels. In order to meet the world demands for biodiesel, research has carried out to increase the rate and conversion of the oleic acid in the esterification reaction by employing a heterogeneous catalyst. The acid catalyst was synthesized via carbonation and sulfonation of cornstarch. It was used in the esterification reaction in order to evaluate the catalyst activity in the biodiesel production. In the esterification reaction, methanol and oleic acid (10:1 mole ration) react to produce methyl oleate as a probe reaction for biodiesel synthesis. The various parameters that enhance the conversion of acid in the biodiesel production have studied including the effect of ultrasound-assisted sulfonation. Sulfonation of catalysts performed using an unheated or heated ultrasonic bath for different periods. The results demonstrate that the activity of the catalyst enhanced by the ultrasound-assisted sulfonation at increased temperature.


Ben Jang

Subject Categories

Chemistry | Physical Sciences and Mathematics