Synthesis of Anionic Surfactant from Jatropha Oil

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Addis Ababa University


Due to the high cost of surfactant production caused by petrochemical feed stocks, considerable attention has been given to non-edible vegetable oils as an alternative source of feedstock. In this paper, a new non-edible oil derived surfactant based on Jatropha plant is synthesized. In this study the objective is synthesis and characterization of anionic surfactant from Jatropha Oil to substitute petroleum based anionic surfactant. The oil of jatropha was extracted by using Mechanical press and characterization of the oil has been done in order to make sure the oil is best fit for synthesizing anionic surfactant. Using transesterification process the extracted oil reacts with methanol by using catalyst sodium hydroxide to produce methyl ester. The molar ratio of H2SO4 to methyl ester, reaction temperature, reaction time and agitation speed on the sulfonation process of methyl ester produced was statistically investigated and important conditions are determined. A four-factor central composite design (CCD) combined with response surface modeling (RSM) and optimization was employed for maximizing the yield of sulfonated methyl ester based on 20 different experimental data. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and other tests were used to test the significance of the independent variables and their interactions. Adequacy of the model was tested by the correlation between experimental and predicted response and enumeration of prediction errors. The predicted maximum active mater (68.3%) was found under the optimum conditions of the process variables (1:1 molar ratio of H2SO4 to methyl ester, 65oC of reaction temperature and 1.5 hours of reaction time) the result is close to the experimental value (69%) determined.



Process Engineering Stream