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Recovery of oil and free fatty acids from spent bleaching earth using sub-critical water technology supported with kinetic and thermodynamic study

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DOI: 10.4236/abb.2014.53033    6,137 Downloads   8,189 Views   Citations


This work represents the extraction of oil with high free fatty acid content from spent bleaching earth using sub-critical water technology as a greener production pathway. The extraction efficiencies under different conditions were investigated. The studied parameters include temperatures in the range of 180 to 270°C, the feed to solventfeed-to-solvent (in this case water) ratio (1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4 and 1:5) and extraction times in the range of 5-60 minutes. The results showed that the optimum temperature, feed to solventfeed-to-solvent ratio, and extraction time were 270°C, 1:3, and 20 minutes, respectively. In another experiment, the extracted free fatty acids were converted into mono-, di-, and triglycerides through esterification with glycerol to increase the value added of the extracted products. The kinetics of the extraction process was found to be corresponding to an irreversible consecutive unimolecular-type first order reaction, consisting of the extraction step followed by the decomposition reaction step. Both reaction rates of extraction and decomposition were estimated using the reaction rate equations utilizing the nonlinear regression method. The apparent activation energy was calculated to be 46.1 kJ·mol-1. This result indicates a diffusion controlled reaction. For more exploration and deep understanding of the extraction mechanism, other thermodynamic parameters were also calculated and analyzed including,ΔH#, ΔS#, and ΔG# of the extraction step.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Fattah, R. , Mostafa, N. , Mahmoud, M. and Abdelmoez, W. (2014) Recovery of oil and free fatty acids from spent bleaching earth using sub-critical water technology supported with kinetic and thermodynamic study. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 5, 261-272. doi: 10.4236/abb.2014.53033.


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