Esterification of Waste Cooking Oil Followed by Transesterification by CaO Nanoparticles: Application of Taguchi Methodology

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of Chemical Engineering, Qaemshahr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qaemshahr, Iran

2 Chemical engineering department, Science and research branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Chemistry, Qaemshahr Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qaemshahr, Iran


In order to produce biodiesel from waste cooking oil and optimize its yield, a two-stage process of esterification/ transesterification has been used in this study. First, we used the acidic catalysts H2SO4 in order to diminish the content of free fatty acid (FFA) in oil that caused reducing the oil acidity from 6.1% to 0.57% through esterification. Then, the biodiesel was produced by transesterification of resulted oil using heterogeneous CaO nanoparticles as catalyst. At each stage, the best possible conditions have been determined by applying Taguchi methodology for each major variable, including time, temperature, alcohol/oil molar ratio, and the amount of catalyst. The optimum conditions for esterification are achieved at 80°C temperature, 120 minutes time, 6:1 molar ratio of alcohol/oil, and H2SO4 content of 1% (w/w oil). The optimum condition for transesterification were found in 100 °C temperature, 90 minutes time, 8:1 molar ratio of alcohol/oil, and 3% (w/w oil) of CaO nanoparticles as catalyst. After applying full optimization of these two stages, the yield of the produced biodiesel has achieved 96.4%.


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