Process for producing lower alcohol esters of fatty acids Patent #: 4164506
ApplicationNo. 06/806074 filed on 12/06/1985
US Classes:554/167, Another reactant contains alcoholic or phenolic hydroxy (e.g., methy ricinoleate, etc.)554/170, Another reactant contains alcoholic or phenolic hydroxy554/174Esterification of fatty material to reduce the amount of free fatty acid or to facilitate separation of constituents
ExaminersPrimary: Evans, F. L.
Attorney, Agent or Firm
International ClassesC11C 3/00 (20060101)
C11C 3/04 (20060101)
Foreign Application Priority Data1984-12-08 DE
AbstractFatty acid alkyl esters are produced by catalytic transesterification of natural fats and oils containing free fatty acids. In a preliminary esterifying step, the free fatty acids present are reacted with a C1 -C4 alkanol (e.g., methanol) in the presence of an acidic esterification catalyst, at a temperature of about 50° to 120° C. and at substantially atmospheric pressure. The resulting reaction mixture is allowed to separate into two phases: (1) an alcohol phase containing the acidic esterification catalyst and part of the water of reaction and (2) an oil phase. These phases separately recovered. The oil phase is then extracted with an immiscible extractant, preferably comprising a mixture of glycerol and methanol, to remove residual water of reaction. In the final step the extracted oil phase is transesterified with a C1 -C4 alkanol, e.g. methanol, in the presence of an aklali catalyst and at substantially atmospheric pressure.