Synthesis of Triacetin and Evaluation on Motor


J. Braz. Chem. Soc.




Triacetin (or glycerol triacetate) was obtained by acetylating the glycerol by-product of biodiesel production process. This procedure is an interesting alternative that follows the principles of green chemistry. In this work, triacetin was synthesized using reactions between glycerol and acetic acid, as well as glycerol and acetic anhydride, using homogeneous and heterogeneous acid catalysis. The goal is to use this product as an additive for biodiesel produced from palm oil, which is a fuel with physical properties that require improvement. The products were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and gas chromatography (GC). The reaction between glycerol and acetic anhydride was the most effective for obtaining the desired product, with an approximate selectivity of 98% for triacetin. The triacetin was added to diesel fuel oil and biodiesel in proportions from 5 to 10% v/v, and the mixtures were tested in an electrical generator. In the test, the engine showed no problems during operation, and incorporating the mixtures did not result in significant consumption. Small reductions were detected in CO, O2 and opacity, but no changes were observed in the emissions of NOx and CO2.

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