Microwave Enhanced Organic Synthesis Green Chemistry- A Study in Transesterification


Kumar, A., et al., 2015. Microwave Enhanced Organic Synthesis Green Chemistry- A Study in Transesterification. Proceedings of Sustainable Research and Innovation Conference, p.177–184} url = {http://sri.jkuat.ac.ke/ojs/index.php/proceedings/article/view/293.


Use of microwaves as an alternate heat source to replace conventional heating has been studied in organic synthesis. Microwave irradiation results in faster reaction rates, cleaner production, thereby reducing energy consumption. This also leads to better environmental impacts and is considered green chemistry. This Paper reviews application of microwave irradiation in transesterification reactions for production of biodiesels. Transesterification of Croton Megalocarpus oil using homogeneous sodium hydroxide catalyst was carried out using conventional heating in a water bath, and in a microwave oven. Synthesis of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) was studied for the reaction variables catalyst concentration, methanol to oil molar feed ratio and reaction time. Results indicated that reaction time was reduced to about 2% for a similar yield when microwave irradiation was employed instead of convective heating. During convectional heating, a FAME yield of 96% corresponded to a methanol-to-oil molar ratio of 6:1, catalyst of 1 %, temperature of 70oC, and reaction time of 60 minute. During microwave irradiation, a yield of 92% was obtained when methanol-to-oil molar ratio was 9:1, catalyst concentration 0.5 %, and reaction time 1 minute. FAME was analyzed through gas chromatography.