Mathematical modelling using response surface methodology for optimization of the operating conditions for esteramine production aided by solid catalyst

Mathematical modelling using response surface methodology for optimization of the operating conditions for esteramine production aided by solid catalyst

Haliza A. AzizMohamed K. Aroua Rozita Yusoff Noor A. Abas Zainab Idris Hazimah A. Hsassan 

Advanced Oleochemical Technology Division, Malaysian Palm Oil Board,43000, Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia

Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya,50603, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Corresponding Author Email:
31 March 2017
| Citation



This study involved optimization of the transesterification of palm-based methyl palmitate with triethanolamine to form esteramine, an intermediate for esterquats. This reaction is aided by Ca–Al as a heterogeneous catalyst and conducted in a 500-ml reaction unit. Response surface methodology (RSM) in combination with face-centered design was used to optimize the operating parameters. Results show that temperature was the most significant variable affecting the conversion of methyl palmitate, followed by catalyst dosage, quadratic effect of catalyst dosage, vacuum and interaction of vacuum and catalyst dosage. The optimum reaction conditions obtained were at temperature of 169 oC, catalyst dosage of 0.78 % and vacuum of 299 mbar. The optimized operating conditions could be used to further improve the selectivity that would maximize the formation of di-esteramine and minimize the tri-esteramine content by improving the Ca-Al catalyst basicity and acidity ratio.


Esteramine, Transesterification, Methyl Palmitate, Heterogeneous Catalyst, Esterquats.

1. Introduction
2. Experimental
3. Results and Discussion
4. Conclusion

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