SYNTHESIS OF ACETINS FROM ETHYL ACETATE VIA TRANSESTERIFICATION WITH GLYCEROL USING A SULPHONIC ACID TYPE ION-EXCHANGE RESIN
Demand for biodiesel has increased over the years as a substitute to petrol and diesel due to its environmental-friendly nature and lower cost. Glycerol being major by-product of the process constitutes 10 wt.% of the products hence conversion of glycerol to value added products such as acetins in the plant reduces the production cost of biodiesel. The present work focuses on the transesterification reaction between glycerol and ethyl acetate over heterogeneous catalyst, Amberlyst-15(wet). The batch studies were carried out and the effect of reaction parameters such as reaction time (1-7 h), glycerol to ethyl acetate molar ratio (1:3-1:12), temperature (50-70 oC), catalyst loading (2-5 w/w%) have been studied. The maximum conversion of glycerol obtained at (G : EA) molar ratio 1:6, reaction temperature of 70 ˚C and 4 w/w% catalyst loading for 7 h was 97.71 % and the selectivity of mono-, di- and triacetins were 36.7, 60.7 and 2.51 %, respectively. This provides an eco-friendly and sustainable path for valorisation of biodiesel derived glycerol.