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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Hydrolysis optimization and characterization study of preparing fatty acids from Jatropha curcas seed oil

Jumat Salimon*, Bashar Mudhaffar Abdullah and Nadia Salih

Author Affiliations

School of Chemical Sciences and Food Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

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Chemistry Central Journal 2011, 5:67  doi:10.1186/1752-153X-5-67

Published: 1 November 2011



Fatty acids (FAs) are important as raw materials for the biotechnology industry. Existing methods of FAs production are based on chemical methods. In this study potassium hydroxide (KOH)-catalyzed reactions were utilized to hydrolysis Jatropha curcas seed oil.


The parameters effect of ethanolic KOH concentration, reaction temperature, and reaction time to free fatty acid (FFA%) were investigated using D-Optimal Design. Characterization of the product has been studied using Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), gas chromatography (GC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The optimum conditions for maximum FFA% were achieved at 1.75M of ethanolic KOH concentration, 65°C of reaction temperature and 2.0 h of reaction time.


This study showed that ethanolic KOH concentration was significant variable for J. curcas seed oil hydrolysis. In a 18-point experimental design, FFA% of hydrolyzed J. curcas seed oil can be raised from 1.89% to 102.2%, which proved by FTIR and HPLC.