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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 268385, 7 pages
Research Article

Dynamic Modeling of Reversible Methanolysis of Jatropha curcas Oil to Biodiesel

1Institute of Advanced Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Department of Chemical Engineering, Malikussaleh University, Lhokseumawe 24351, Indonesia

Received 4 September 2013; Accepted 16 October 2013

Academic Editors: L. Li and Z.-W. Liu

Copyright © 2013 Azhari M. Syam 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.


Many kinetics studies on methanolysis assumed the reactions to be irreversible. The aim of the present work was to study the dynamic modeling of reversible methanolysis of Jatropha curcas oil (JCO) to biodiesel. The experimental data were collected under the optimal reaction conditions: molar ratio of methanol to JCO at 6 : 1, reaction temperature of 60°C, 60 min of reaction time, and 1% w/w of catalyst concentration. The dynamic modeling involved the derivation of differential equations for rates of three stepwise reactions. The simulation study was then performed on the resulting equations using MATLAB. The newly developed reversible models were fitted with various rate constants and compared with the experimental data for fitting purposes. In addition, analysis of variance was done statistically to evaluate the adequacy and quality of model parameters. The kinetics study revealed that the reverse reactions were significantly slower than forward reactions. The activation energies ranged from 6.5 to 44.4 KJ mol1.