Monoglycerides are intermediate by products in rapeseed oil transesterification. If they are present in the bio-fuel and the bio-fuel is used in vehicles, then they can form crystal at cold climate and block fuel injection system of the vehicles. To solve this problem kinetic study of transesterification of rapeseed oil has been carried out in this study. The process variables such as reaction time, temperature, agitation speed and molar ratio of methanol to oil have been optimised to achieve a reduced level of monoglycerides formation in a batch reactor. These information have been integrated into flow through industrial scale transesterification process. Industrial processes demonstrated a steady performance with reduced level of monoglycerides. Monoglycerides level have been reduced to 0.27% (w/w) using 9:1 molar ratio of methanol to oil in about 40 min reaction time. KOH was used as a catalyst to influence transesterification. Results from this study will be helpful to reduce monoglycerides in the industrial scale transesterification process.
Keywords: biodiesel, gas chromatography, kinetics, monoglycerides, transesterification