Deacidification of macauba pulp oil (acrocomia aculeata) catalyzed by cationic resin
The traditional route of biodiesel production is based on the transesterification reaction, in which the main requirement is the use of low acidity raw material. It is known that the cost of raw material, such as soybean oil, has the largest contribution to the final price of biodiesel. Brazil has a huge potential for the use of others oleaginous plants, such as Macauba. However, the extractive way of harvest generates a raw material of high acidity. The objective of this study is to use commercial cationic exchange resins as heterogeneous and reusable catalysts to esterify the free fatty acids content, reducing the acidity and making the Macauba oil suitable to transesterification process. The resins Purolite CTR275DR and Mitsubishi PK208 were evaluated in this study as esterification heterogeneous catalysts. The initial acidity of pulp oil was reduced from 40.8% to than 2.2% w/w, demonstrating the potential of the resins in the esterification of free fatty acids.