Evaluation of the activity and stability of alkali-doped metal oxide catalysts for application to an intensified method of biodiesel production

Claire S. MacLeod, Adam P. Harvey, Adam F. Lee, Karen Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A series of alkali-doped metal oxide catalysts were prepared and evaluated for activity in the transesterification of rapeseed oil to biodiesel. Of those evaluated, LiNO3/CaO, NaNO3/CaO, KNO3/CaO and LiNO3/MgO exhibited >90% conversion in a standard 3 h test. There was a clear correlation between base strength and activity. These catalysts appeared to be promising candidates to replace conventional homogeneous catalysts for biodiesel production as the reaction times are low enough to be practical in continuous processes and the preparations are neither prohibitively difficult nor costly. However, metal leaching from the catalyst was detected, and this resulted in some homogeneous activity. This would have to be resolved before these catalysts would be viable for large-scale biodiesel production facilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume135
Issue number1-2
Early online date16 Apr 2007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding: EPSRC

Keywords

  • biodiesel
  • renewable fuel
  • transesterification
  • heterogeneous catalysis
  • process intensification

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