Kinetics of in situ epoxidation of hemp oil under heterogeneous reaction conditions: an overview with preliminary results


Epoxidised hemp oil (EHO) was synthesised in the laboratory by reacting hemp oil (HO) with peroxyacetic acid (PA) in a batch reactor. The peroxyacetic acid was formed in situ from acetic acid (AA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the presence on an acidic ion exchange resin (Amberlite IR-120) as catalyst. The overall reaction can be thought of as having two components. The first being epoxidation, a homogenous reaction which occurs at the interface of the aqueous phase and the HO phase while the second is the formation of PA, a heterogeneous reaction at the interface of the aqueous phase and the solid catalyst phase. The overall reaction kinetics were modelled by applying the Langmuir-Hinshelwood-Hougen-Watson (LHHW) model to heterogeneous reactions. Of the steps in the reaction it is postulated that the formation of PA is rate limiting, while the epoxidation occurs comparatively fast negating the requirement for an additional homogenous model. The diffusion steps in the reaction are also ignored in the kinetic model as it is believed that their effects are negligible due to intensive mixing in the batch reactor. Experiments were used to determine the optimal molar ratios of reactants and it was found that at these conditions 88% conversion of double bonds to epoxy groups occurred. The kinetic model was found to be in good agreement with the experimental results

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