New solid bases for biodiesel synthesis

Karen Wilson, Adam F. Lee, Robert S. Watkins, David G. Cantrell, Lisa J. Gillie

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstractpeer-review


Biodiesel is a promising non-toxic and biodegradable renewable fuel, synthesized by the homogeneous base-catalyzed transesterification of vegetable oils or animal fats with methanol or ethanol. Removal of the base, typically Na or K alkoxide, after reaction is a major problem since aqueous quenching results in stable emulsions and saponification. The use of a solid base catalyst offers several process advantages including the elimination of a quenching step (and associated basic water waste) to isolate the products, and the opportunity to operate in a continuous process. The synthesis and characterization of a series of Li-doped CaO and Mg-Al hydrotalcite solid base catalysts were presented and their physicochemical properties were correlated with their activity in biodiesel synthesis. Both catalysts were effective solid bases for the transesterification of triglycerides to the methyl ester, with catalyst activity related to the electronic properties of Li and Mg dopants. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 230th ACS National Meeting (Washington, DC 8/28/2005-9/1/2005).
Original languageEnglish
JournalAbstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Event230th American Chemistry Society National Meeting - Washington, DC, United States
Duration: 28 Aug 200531 Aug 2005


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