Synthesis of fatty acid methyl esters from used vegetable oil using activated anthill as catalyst
In this present study transesterification of used vegetable oil (UVO) using synthesized activated anthill as catalyst was investigated. The catalyst was prepared via calcination process, characterized by Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) techniques. From the BET analysis; calcination temperature has a positive impact on the textural properties. The XRD shows that the catalyst is crystalline in nature. Fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) was produced using thermally activated anthill as catalyst. The optimal FAME yield of 94.85 % was obtained at Methanol/Oil (M/O) 9:1, catalyst loading 1.5 wt%, reaction temperature of 65 ᵒ𝑪 and reaction time of 2 h. The physico-chemical properties of UVO – FAME produced was found to be within the American Society for Testing and Methods (ASTM). Hence, the study reveals that used vegetable oil catalyzed by novel activated anthill could be an effective feedstock to produce sustainable energy.
Keywords: Anthills, FAME, Central composite design, Heterogeneous, used vegetable oil.