Synthesis of a base-stock for electrical insulating fluid based on palm kernel oil

This report presents a method for synthesizing base-stock for green industrial product from a vegetable oil with a high composition of unsaturated fatty acids. Epoxy methyl ester of palm kernel oil was synthesized from laboratory purified palm kernel oil using a two-step reaction and the products were used as a base-stock for green electrical insulation fluid. Epoxidized palm kernel oil was first prepared through epoxidation reaction involving purified palm kernel oil, acetic acid and hydrogen peroxide in the presence of amberlite as catalyst which lasted for 4 h. It was then followed by transesterification reaction involving the epoxidized product and methanol in the presence of sodium hydroxide as catalyst to synthesize the corresponding epoxy methyl ester. The thermal and electrical breakdown properties of the epoxy methyl ester demonstrated significantly improved properties for its use as raw material for bio-based industrial products such as electrical insulation fluids.