Experimental Study and Modeling of Phase Equilibrium of the Methanol–Tripalmitin System: Application to Palm Oil Transesterification with Supercritical Methanol

The phase behavior of the methanol–palm oil system was first experimentally assessed in the temperature range of 363–393 K and pressure range of 1–4 MPa. Second, comparative modeling of the phase equilibrium of the methanol–tripalmitin system was performed using the Peng–Robinson equation of state (PR EoS) with second-order modified Huron–Vidal (MHV2) mixing rules, in combination with the universal functional activity coefficient model (UNIFAC) and the universal quasi-chemical (UNIQUAC) excess Gibbs free-energy model. The agreement between experimental and modeling results was found to be satisfactory when MHV2 mixing rules are used in combination with the UNIQUAC model. Finally, the thermodynamic model was applied to predict fluid phase equilibria of palm oil transesterification with supercritical methanol. From the isochoric method in the temperature range of 373–693 K and the pressure range of 1–16 MPa, the model was found to predict global mixture behavior.