This study was done to obtain concentrated unsaturated fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) by urea complexation from soybean derived FAME. Effects of urea-to-FAME ratio, 95% ethanol-to-FAME ratio, crystallization temperature and time on the purification of unsaturated FAME were investigated through single factor experiments. Optimum conditions to obtain maximum FAME yield of NUCF with the purity of unsaturated FAME greater than 98% were established using Box-Behnken design (BBD) method and response surface methodology (RSM). Under optimal conditions, the FAME yield was 58.08%, and the purity of unsaturated FAME was 98% at a urea-to-FAME ratio of 1.23, 95% ethanol-to-FAME ratio of 7 and crystallization temperature of 0ºC. Verification results revealed that the predicted values were reasonably close to experimentally observed values of 56.93% and 98.01%.

Bin Jiang, Yan Liu, Luhong Zhang, Yongli Sun, Yuhua Liu and Xuekuan Liu