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Alkyl ester derivatives were synthesized from laboratory purified palm kernel oil. The steps in the synthesis involved transesterification of palm kernel oil to produce a methyl ester, followed by epoxidation and then the grafting of side chains by esterification with propionic and butyric anhydride. The dielectric and thermal properties of the ester derivatives were analyzed and compared with the methyl ester. The melting point of the ester derivatives were found to reduce with side chain attachment and antioxidant improved its thermal stability. The dielectric loss was dominated by mobile charged particles and the chemical modification appeared to increase the rate at which electric double layer was formed at the electrode-liquid interface. The esters possessed excellent breakdown strengths suggesting that the processing to optimize their physical properties did not have a negative influence on their electrical breakdown strength. This product may prove useful as an insulation fluid in Electrical Power Transformers.
Date of Conference: 26-30 June 2011