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ERIC Number: EJ923699
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Acid-Catalyzed Preparation of Biodiesel from Waste Vegetable Oil: An Experiment for the Undergraduate Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Bladt, Don; Murray, Steve; Gitch, Brittany; Trout, Haylee; Liberko, Charles
Journal of Chemical Education, v88 n2 p201-203 Feb 2011
This undergraduate organic laboratory exercise involves the sulfuric acid-catalyzed conversion of waste vegetable oil into biodiesel. The acid-catalyzed method, although inherently slower than the base-catalyzed methods, does not suffer from the loss of product or the creation of emulsion producing soap that plagues the base-catalyzed methods when used with waste vegetable oil. The method overcomes the inherently slow transesterification reaction by using 1-propanol in place of methanol. The higher reflux temperature of 1-propanol and the improved mixing between the phases when 1-propanol is used allows the reaction to be completed in about one hour. The biodiesel fuel is analyzed by simple flammability and viscosity tests. The exercise, although not practical for large-scale production of biodiesel, serves to illustrate the concept of transesterification. (Contains 3 notes, 1 figure, and 4 schemes.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A