In the present study the esterification of palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD), a by-product from palm oil industry, in the presence of super phosphoric acid (SPA) catalyst was studied. The effects of various physico-chemical parameters such as temperature, PFAD to methanol molar ratio and amount of catalyst on the conversion of biodiesel were investigated. The percent conversion of FFA and properties of the biodiesel were determined following standard methodologies. Percent conversion of biodiesel was found to increase with the increase in PFAD to methanol molar ratio and at 1:12 molar ratio and 70°C temperature 95% conversion was achieved. Thermodynamic parameters were also evaluated in terms of Gibbs free energy, enthalpy and entropy at different molar ratio and temperatures. Both pseudo first and second order irreversible kinetics were applied to a wide range of experimental data. However, according to regression coefficient (R2) the second order described better experimental behavior of kinetic data.
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