Application of RSM for Optimizing the Biodiesel Production Catalyzed by Calcium Methoxide
In the present study, calcium methoxide (Ca(OCH3)2) catalyst was synthesized by the methanolysis of calcined calcium carbonate. The prepared catalyst was then characterized by different physicochemical techniques. The optimization of various reaction parameters for the transesterification of Jatropha curcas oil (JCO) was done by using response surface methodology (RSM) coupled with central composite design (CCD) by using Design Expert software. The polynomial equations based on the second-order model were obtained for transesterification reaction. Independent variables, i.e., methanol to oil molar ratio, catalyst concentration, reaction temperature, and reaction time, were investigated in order to find the maximum value of % biodiesel yield. The adequacy of regression modeling was tested by using analysis of variance (ANOVA). It was observed that biodiesel yield of 90.76% was predicted at the optimal level of catalyst concentration (1 wt%), 9:1 methanol to oil molar ratio, reaction temperature (60 °C), and time (210 min).