2015 : Utilization of modified dolomite as catalysts of transesterification of Refined Palm Oil (RPO): An experiment for catalytic chemistry course

Dra. Ratna Ediati MS., Ph.D


The laboratory science is known as a unique learning environment that allows students to engage in the process of investigation and discovery like real scientists. As a result, this kind of learning is expected to be more significant than the other learning methods. One material that can be taught in the laboratory is the catalyst preparation. Catalyst s are made not only from chemicals, but also from natural materials and wastes, such as dolomite. The catalytic properties of natural materials can be enhanced by calcinations treatment or addition other natural materials as supporting material. Fly ash is a potential supporting material which contains SiO2 and Al2O3 in high concentrations. In this study, the dolomite supported fly ash catalyst was prepared following wet impregnation method with dolomite mass percentage of 100%, 75%, and 50% in which the fly ash was previously treated with dilute hydrochloric acid. The catalysts were characterized using XRD and FTIR. Catalyst activity was shown through the methyl ester (ME) yield obtained from the transesterification of refined palm oil with methanol. Evidently, the highest ME yield (99.84%) was obtained from dolomite loading of 100%, 3 wt.% catalyst concentration, 20:1 methanol/oil molar ratio, at 65 ˚C for 2 h. The results of the study have been documented as a laboratory module to support learning catalytic chemistry