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Comptes Rendus Chimie
Volume 18, n° 5
pages 525-529 (mai 2015)
Doi : 10.1016/j.crci.2013.12.012
Received : 19 July 2013 ;  accepted : 9 December 2013
A novel method for the synthesis of biodiesel from soybean oil and urea

Emad A. Jaffar Al-Mulla a, , A.M. Issam b, Khalid Waleed S. Al-Janabi c
a Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Kufa, P.O. Box 21, An-Najaf 54001, Iraq 
b Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia 
c Chemistry Department, College of Education for Pure Sciences – Ibn Al-Haitham, Baghdad University, Baghdad 10053, Iraq 

Corresponding author.

The increasing demand for energy has encouraged the development of renewable resources and environmentally benign fuel such as biodiesel. In this study, ethyl fatty esters (EFEs), a major component of biodiesel fuel, were synthesized from soybean oil using sodium ethoxide as a catalyst. By-products were glycerol and difatty acyl urea (DFAU), which has biological characteristics, as antibiotics and antifungal medications. Both EFEs and DFAU have been characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technique. The optimum conditions were studied as a function of reaction time, reactant molar ratios, catalyst percentage and the effect of organic solvents. The conversion ratio of soybean oil into pure EFEs was 76% after 10h of reaction. The highest conversion yield of EFEs is obtained when the urea/soybean oil ratio was from 6.2mmol to 1mmol, while the highest production of DFAU is obtained when the ethoxide (as a catalyst)/soybean oil ratio is from 6.4mmol to 1mmol in hexane as the reaction medium.

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Keywords : Soybean oil, Urea, Ethyl fatty esters, Sodium ethoxide, Biodiesel, Renewable

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