Subcritical Water Hydrolysis of Fresh and Waste Cooking Oils to Fatty Acids Followed by Esterification to Fatty Acid Methyl Esters: Detailed Characterization of Feedstocks and Products


In this present work, the hydrolysis of a sample of rapeseed oil (RSO) and two waste cooking oil (WCO) samples in subcritical water has been carried out in a stirred batch stainless-steel reactor to produce fatty acids. Using RSO as a model triglyceride, the effects of reaction parameters on the yields of fatty acids were investigated to determine the optimum set of hydrolysis conditions to be a temperature of 300 °C, a reaction time of 60 min, and a vegetable oil–water mass ratio of 1:2. The set of optimum conditions was applied to the hydrolysis of the WCOs. Oleic acid was the dominant fatty acid with yields of 74.4 wt % from RSO and 57.5 and 72.4 wt % from the two WCOs, respectively, while palmitic acid was the second most abundant fatty acid with yields of up to 31 wt %. The feedstocks and fatty acid products were characterized by acid–base titration and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Thereafter, the hydrolysis products from the optimum conditions were esterified to their fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs), which were further characterized by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and TGA. With RSO at the optimum hydrolysis conditions, acid–base titration gave a fatty acid yield of 97.2 wt %, while TGA gave 86 wt %. Under the same conditions, the yield of FAMEs from GC/MS analysis was 88.6 wt %, while TGA gave a FAMEs’ yield of 91 wt %. This study showed that the simple TGA method provided detailed and complete characterization of lipid feedstocks and their conversion products. In addition, subcritical water hydrolysis can be used to valorize WCOs to fatty acids, with little or no extensive feedstock purification, for various applications including biodiesel production.

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Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR)
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Additional Information: Copyright © 2022, The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society. This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). You are free to share and adapt providing you give appropriate credit to the authors, for more details see here: The Supporting Information is available free of charge: Repeatability tests on the acid−base titration of hydrolysis products; fatty acid determination with the acid−base titration method; compositions of fatty acids in the “as-received” samples; RSO, reactor vessel/liner, and hydrolysis product; and annotated GC/MS chromatograms of the esterified hydrolysis products for RSO, WCO-A, and WCO-B (PDF:
Uncontrolled Keywords: General Chemical Engineering,General Chemistry
Publication ISSN: 2470-1343
Last Modified: 22 May 2024 17:28
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2022 08:35
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http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-12-20
Published Online Date: 2022-12-05
Accepted Date: 2022-11-24
Authors: Peters, Morenike A.
Alves, Carine Tondo
Wang, Jiawei (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5690-9107)
Onwudili, Jude A. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-5355-9970)



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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