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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2017, Article ID 8359238, 8 pages
Research Article

Esterification of Microwave Pyrolytic Oil from Palm Oil Kernel Shell

1Centre of Pre-University Studies, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
2Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia
3Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia

Correspondence should be addressed to Rafeah Wahi; ym.saminu@haefarw

Received 2 December 2016; Revised 15 February 2017; Accepted 22 February 2017; Published 13 March 2017

Academic Editor: Hakan Arslan

Copyright © 2017 Sharifah Mona Abdul Aziz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Microwave pyrolysis is a potential for producing alternative fuel from biomass, such as palm kernel shell (PKS). However, the resulting microwave pyrolytic oil (bio-oil) was highly acidic and has low calorific value and therefore must undergo additional process to improve the physicochemical properties. In this study, attempt was made to improve the pH and calorific value of bio-oil produced from PKS via esterification process. The effect of esterification with ethanol in the presence of sulphuric acid as a catalyst on selected biodiesel qualities was also investigated. The esterification process has successfully improved the pH value from 3.37 to 5.09–5.12 and the calorific value was increased from 27.19 to 34.78–41.52 MJ/kg. Conclusively, the EO has comparatively better properties in terms of its smell, pH, calorific value, and absence of environmentally undesirable compounds. However, future works should include ASTM 6751 specifications tests for biodiesel to evaluate the bio-oil’s suitability for commercial use.