Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Esterification of residual palm oil using solid acid catalyst derived from rice husk

Semilin, Veroneka; Balan, Winnie Sinan; Janaun, Jidon; Chung, Chin Hing; Zhu, Zongyuan; Haywood, Stephanie K.; Touhami, Dalila; Chong, Khim Phin; Yaser, Abu Zahrim; Lee, Ping Chin; Zein, Sharif H.


Veroneka Semilin

Winnie Sinan Balan

Jidon Janaun

Chin Hing Chung

Zongyuan Zhu

Stephanie K. Haywood

Dalila Touhami

Khim Phin Chong

Abu Zahrim Yaser

Ping Chin Lee

Profile Image

Dr Sharif Zein
Senior Fellow HEA| Reader in Biorefinery Processes and Reaction Engineering| PI of Bioref Group


Stephanie Haywood
Project Leader


In this study, carbon-silica based acid catalysts derived from rice husks (RH) were successfully synthesised using microwave (MW) technology. The results showed that MW sulphonation produced Sulphur (S) content of 17.2–18.5 times higher than in raw RH. Fourier-transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) showed peak at 1035 cm−1 which corresponded to O˭S˭O stretching of sulphonic (-SO3H) group. XRD showed sulfonated RH catalysts (SRHCs) have amorphous structure, and through SEM, broadening of the RH voids and also formation of pores is observed. RH600 had the highest surface area of 14.52 m2/g. SRHCs showed high catalytic activity for esterification of oleic acid with methanol with RH600 had the highest initial formation rate (6.33 mmol L−1 min−1) and yield (97%). The reusability of the catalyst showed gradually dropped yield of product for every recycle, which might be due to leaching of –SO3H. Finally, esterification of oil recovered from palm oil mill effluent (POME) with methanol achieved a conversion of 87.3% free fatty acids (FFA) into fatty acid methyl esters (FAME).


Semilin, V., Balan, W. S., Janaun, J., Chung, C. H., Zhu, Z., Haywood, S. K., …Zein, S. H. (2021). Esterification of residual palm oil using solid acid catalyst derived from rice husk. Journal of hazardous materials, 404(Part B), Article 124092.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 23, 2020
Online Publication Date Oct 5, 2020
Publication Date Feb 15, 2021
Deposit Date Dec 9, 2020
Publicly Available Date Oct 6, 2021
Journal Journal of Hazardous Materials
Print ISSN 0304-3894
Electronic ISSN 1873-3336
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 404
Issue Part B
Article Number 124092
Keywords Fatty acid methyl esters; Microwave pyrolysis; Palm oil mill effluent; Rice husk; Solid acid catalyst
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations