Date of Award

Fall 2006

Project Type


Program or Major

Chemical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


In this thesis, biodiesel was produced by the transesterification of triolein. Initially a method utilizing gas chromatography was developed to monitor the Novozym 435 catalyzed transesterification. After the procedure was established, experiments were conducted to determine the effect and existence of interactions between reaction parameters including catalyst mass, agitation speed, methanol to triolein ratio, and temperature on yield. A split plot design showed that all single parameters were significant except methanol to triolein ratio. Several two way interactions were found including temperature over ratio, temperature over catalyst mass, and extent of agitation over catalyst mass. The extent of agitation over catalyst mass interaction proved to be the most significant of all the two way interactions experimentally and this interaction could be verified visually. A three way interaction is also present among agitation speed, methanol to triolein ratio, and the catalyst mass. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).