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Preliminary Testing of Hybrid Catalytic-Plasma Reactor for Biodiesel Production Using Modified-Carbon Catalyst

Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Diponegoro University, Jl. Prof. Soedarto, SH, Kampus Undip Tembalang, Semarang 50275, Indonesia

Received: 10 Nov 2015; Revised: 16 Jan 2016; Accepted: 16 Jan 2016; Published: 1 Apr 2016; Available online: 10 Mar 2016.
Open Access Copyright (c) 2016 by Authors, Published by BCREC Group under

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Preliminary testing of hybrid catalytic-plasma reactor for biodiesel production through transesterification of soybean oil with methanol over modified-carbon catalyst was investigated. This research focused on synergetic roles of non-thermal plasma and catalysis in the transesterification process. The amount of modified-carbon catalyst with grain size of 1.75 mm was placed into fixed tubular reactor within discharge zone. The discharge zone of the hybrid catalytic-plasma reactor was defined in the volume area between high voltage and ground electrodes. Weight Hourly Space Velocity (WHSV) of 1.85 h-1 of reactant feed was studied at reaction temperature of 65 oC and at ambient pressure. The modified-carbon catalyst was prepared by impregnation of active carbon within H2SO4 solution followed by drying at 100 oC for overnight and calcining at 300 oC for 3 h. It was found that biodiesel yield obtained using the hybrid catalytic-plasma reactor was 92.39% and 73.91% when using active carbon and modified-carbon catalysts, respectively better than without plasma. Therefore, there were synergetic effects of non-thermal plasma and catalysis roles for driving the transesterification process. 

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Keywords: biodiesel; modified-carbon catalyst; hybrid catalytic-plasma reactor; transesterification

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Section: The 2nd International Conference on Chemical and Material Engineering 2015
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