Catalytic transesterification of glycerol: Optimization for production of glycerol carbonate


  • Po Kim Lo Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
  • Hor Yan Phin Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman



Transesterification, , glycerol carbonate, calcium oxide


The purpose of this research was to study the effect of reaction temperature, reaction time and dimethyl carbonate:glycerol (DMC:Gly) molar ratio on the conversion of glycerol and yield of glycerol carbonate. The reaction was further optimized with central composite design (CCD), 15 runs of transesterification reaction were conducted. Meanwhile, the calcined calcium oxide catalyst was fixed at catalyst/glycerol molar ratio at 0.06 while the stirring rate was maintained at 1000 rpm for every runs. ANOVA results indicated that reaction temperature and reactants ratio (DMC:Gly) influenced the yield significantly. Synergy effect of reaction temperature with reaction time and reaction temperature with DMC:Gly molar ratio seem to have greater significance on the conversion instead of a single parameter. Under optimization studies, the maximum possible conversion and yield were 100% and 96.36% respectively which could be accomplished at 60.16 °C reaction temperature with 1.19 hour reaction time and 3.04 DMC:Gly molar ratio. Compared to the highest conversion (96.22%) and yield (95.83%) achieved before the optimization with reaction carried out at 60 °C, after 1.5 hours and at 3:1 DMC:Gly molar ratio, the optimization had resulted in the higher conversion with moderate reaction temperature and shorter reaction time.

Author Biographies

Po Kim Lo, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman

Department of Petrochemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology

Hor Yan Phin, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman

Department of Petrochemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Green Technology


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