On the impact of the preparation method on the surface basicity of Mg–Zr mixed oxide catalysts for tributyrin transesterification

Abdallah I.M. Rabee, Jinesh Manayil, Mark Isaacs, Christopher Parlett, Lee Durndell, Mohamed I. Zaki, Adam Lee, Karen Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Mixed metal oxides are promising heterogeneous catalysts for biofuel production from lipids via alcoholysis, however, the impact of solid acidity and/or basicity on reactivity is comparatively poorly understood. Two systematically related families of MgO–ZrO2 mixed oxide catalysts were therefore prepared by different synthetic routes to elucidate the impact of surface acid-base properties on catalytic performance in the transesterification of tributyrin with methanol. The resulting materials were characterized by TGA-MS, ICP-OES, N2 porosimetry, XRD, TEM, XPS, DRIFTS, and CO2-temperature-programmed desorption (TPD). MgO–ZrO2 catalysts prepared by both non-aqueous impregnation and citric acid-mediated sol–gel routes exhibit excellent activity and stability. The citrate routes favor highly dispersed MgO and concomitant Lewis acid-base pair formation at the interface with zirconia. However, for both the citrate and impregnation routes, tributyrin transesterification occurs over a common, strongly basic MgO active site.
Original languageEnglish
Article number228
JournalCatalysts
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access
article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution
(CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Keywords

  • solid base
  • MgO
  • transesterification
  • mixed oxide
  • biodiesel

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