Catalysis Today, Vol.319, 172-181, 2019
Esterification of oleic acid to biodiesel catalyzed by a highly acidic carbonaceous catalyst
Carbonaceous catalyst, with a variety of acid sites, was successfully synthesized by a two-step method at low temperature. The synthesized catalyst (Zr-SO3H@CMC) was characterized by elemental analysis, XRD, ICP-OES, FT-IR, BET, SEM-EDX and Boehm titration. It had high total acid content (8.45 mmol/g) for oleic acid esterification with high biodiesel yields (> 99%) at 40-90 degrees C. Under conditions of 90 degrees C, 20/1 methanol/oleic acid molar ratio, 5 wt% catalyst and 2 h reaction time, biodiesel yield of > 87% was achieved after 10 cycles of use. At lower temperatures (40, 50 and 60 degrees C), biodiesel yield still reached 82%, 93% and 90% after 3 cycles, respectively. The high activity of Zr-SO3H@CMC benefited from low activation energy of 24.7 KJ/mol. It shows potential application for esterification of free fatty acids or pretreatment of oils with high acid value for the green production of biodiesel.