Analysis of biodiesel conversion using thin layer chromatography and nonlinear calibration curves

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Biodiesel (BD) is a fuel produced by the (trans)esterification reaction between the components of vegetable oil (or animal fat) and an alcohol. The presence of several substrates complicates analytical separation of the mixture, yet understanding of the complex reaction kinetics requires acquisition of a large body of data. The two well-established methods of gas chromatography (GC) and HPLC are time consuming and expensive when analyzing multiple samples. Additionally, it is not always possible to record all the reactants on one elution profile. We examined applicability of thin layer chromatography (TLC) for this purpose, where the detection was based on either flame ionization detector (FID) or a modified staining procedure. The suggested staining method gave no background and appeared well suited for quantitative analysis. The relevant calibrations are presented, and the general principles of analysis of nonlinear responses are discussed. Several experimental samples were produced by enzymatic conversion of rapeseed oil to BD. One reaction step resulted in 85–95% conversion (6 h). The second step (after removal of glycerol and water) increased the yield to 97–98%. All components of the mixtures were separated and quantified. Relation of the BD contents measured by TLC and GC gave the values of 1.03 ± 0.07 (TLC-staining) and 0.95 ± 0.04 (TLC–FID), indicating applicability of the TLC-methods.
TidsskriftJournal of Chromatography A
Sider (fra-til)2785-2792
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 2011

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