Continuous flow hydrolysis of sunflower oil for biodiesel

R. Alenezi, M. Baig, J. Wang, R. Santos, G. A. Leeke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Free fatty acids are an important intermediate for several industrial applications, particularly for production of biodiesel via methanolysis. The use of subcritical water as both solvent and reactant for the hydrolysis of vegetable oil to generate fatty acids has recently been proven to be a successful medium for hydrolysis without employing acid or alkali catalysts, while allowing for a simple process and high yield. Continuous flow hydrolysis of sunflower oil in subcritical water to obtain FFA was investigated in a tubular reactor at 10 to 20 MPa, 270 to 350°C and water/oil ratios of 80:20 and 50:50 v:v%. The rate of the hydrolysis was enhanced significantly by increasing reaction temperature end decreasing the water/oil ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-468
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy Sources, Part A: Recovery, Utilization and Environmental Effects
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Free fatty acids
  • Hydrolysis
  • Subcritical water
  • Sunflower oil


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