Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Basti, Dr. Mufeed

Abstract

Biodiesel was synthesized using raw beef fat using esterification and transesterification reaction. The obtained biodiesel-glycerin mixture was tested using Fourier transform infrared resonance (FT-IR) and compared with the FT-IR of raw beef fat, glycerin, biodiesel made from vegetable oil and commercial biodiesel. The FT-IR spectrum of the synthesized biodiesel was identical to that of biodiesel made from vegetable oil. Poly-glycerin was synthesized from glycerin by water elimination reaction, where solid NaOH was used as a catalyst under a stream of nitrogen gas. The water-elimination reaction obeys the “N-1” rule. “N-1” is the degree of polymerization and “N” is the number of glycerin molecules. The polymers were produced either by patch synthesis or continuous synthesis. In the former, the trimer, pentamer, heptamer, and the decamer were individually synthesized. In the latter, a higher degree of polymers were produced by continuously heating glycerin where the mass of water that was reduced from the reaction was monitored and samples of the polymer were obtained at regular time. FT-IR samples were acquired and the viscosity of the glycerin and the final product was obtained at different temperatures. FT-IR, viscosity, 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (1H and 13C NMR), and principal component analysis (PCA) based on FT-IR data were used to monitor and study the polymerization process. The results indicate that among the spectroscopy methods that we used, FT-IR yields consistent data on monitoring the polymerization reaction. PCA calculations indicate that the amount of dimer peaks an hour after the initiation of the polymerization reaction then it goes down as higher- degree polymers are made.

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