Get access

Acid-catalyzed esterification of naphthenic acids

Authors

  • Zahra Dastjerdi,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Ottawa, Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation, Ottawa, ON, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Marc A. Dubé

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Ottawa, Centre for Catalysis Research and Innovation, Ottawa, ON, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author

Marc.Dube@uOttawa.ca (for correspondence)

Abstract

The reclamation of mining operation tailings water is of major concern to the oil sands industry. Naphthenic acids (NAs) are recognized as a major toxic component in tailings water. The acid-catalyzed esterification of commercially prepared NAs to biodiesel was performed as a test case for the utilization of these toxic compounds. In a series of batch acid-catalyzed esterification reactions, the influence of reaction temperature, catalyst type, catalyst concentration, and methanol to oil ratio on the esterification was investigated. The NA esterification reactions were found to be positively dependent on temperature and catalyst concentration while large methanol to oil ratios had a negative effect on the esterification. Finally, sulfuric acid was identified as a preferred catalyst for the esterification compared to p-toluene sulfonic acid. The esterification was completed successfully at the relatively mild conditions used in commercial biodiesel production. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 32: 406-410, 2013

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary