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Epoxidation reaction of soybean oil: process optimization and kinetic studies

Fengyan Zhang, Fuping Bian, Yonglu Dong, Shudong Lin, Xuefeng Gui, and Jiwen Hu

Guangzhou Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China



Received: 3 December 2022  Accepted: 6 August 2023


Based on the Prileschajet reaction, formic acid (FA), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) were selected as the oxidants and sulfuric acid (H2SO4) as the catalyst to establish the reaction model. Initially, the reaction mechanism of the system was explained by investigating the process conditions of soybean oil (SBO), and the results showed that the two-phase (oil–water) reaction system was similar to the quasi-homogeneous system. Consequently, a mathematical model of quasi-homogeneous system was established to describe the epoxidation process of SBO. Although the rate constants indicated that the formation of PFA was a decisive step of the whole system, PFA still exists as an intermediate in the system. Furthermore, the activation energy of PFA decomposition indicated the temperature sensitivity of PFA, making it prone to easy decomposition. This strongly suggests that the decomposition of PFA and its subsequent consequences are not to be treated as negligible phenomena.

Keywords: Soybean oil; Epoxidation reactions; Reaction mechanism; Process parameters; Kinetic model

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-023-03029-2


Chemical Papers 77 (12) 7849–7863 (2023)

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