Mixing Intensity

In the transesterification reaction, the reactants initially from a two phase liquid system. The reaction is diffusion controlled and poor diffusion between the phases results in a slow rate. As methyl esters are formed, they act as a mutual solvent for the reactants and a single phase system is formed. The mixing effect is most significant during the slow rate region of the reaction. As the single phase is established, mixing becomes insignificant. The understanding of the mixing effects on the kinetics of the transesterification process is a valuable tool in the process scale up and design.

Purity of Reactants

Impurities present in the oil also affect conversion levels. Under the same conditions, 67 to 84% conversion into esters using crude vegetable oils can be obtained, compared with 94 to 97% when using refined oils. The free fatty acids in the original oils interfere with the catalyst. However, under conditions of high temperature and pressure this problem can be overcome.


Raw materials required:
• Used or fresh vegetable oil (strained with a coffee filter or cloth)
• Lye (Catalyst)
• Methanol
• Isopropyl Alcohol (for tests. Use 99% IPA)

Representative APR 391%

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