Structure-sensitive biodiesel synthesis over MgO nanocrystals

Janine M. Montero, Pratibha Gai, Karen Wilson, Adam F. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Size-controlled MgO nanocrystals were synthesised via a simple sol-gel method and their bulk and surface properties characterised by powder XRD, HRTEM and XPS. Small, cubic MgO single crystals, generated by low temperature processing, expose weakly basic (100) surfaces. High temperature annealing transforms these into large, stepped cuboidal nanoparticles of periclase MgO which terminate in more basic (110) and (111) surfaces. The size dependent evolution of surface electronic structure correlates directly with the associated catalytic activity of these MgO nanocrystals towards glyceryl tributyrate transesterification, revealing a pronounced structural preference for (110) and (111) facets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-268
Number of pages4
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number2
Early online date5 Dec 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Financial support by the EPSRC under grant EP/D038359/1 and BP Biofuels is gratefully acknowledged.


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