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Sustainability 2014, 6(5), 2413-2423; doi:10.3390/su6052413

Sustainability Study on Heavy Metal Uptake in Neem Biodiesel Using Selective Catalytic Preparation and Hyphenated Mass Spectrometry

1
Department of Chemistry, The Petroleum Institute, P.O. Box 2533 Abu Dhabi, UAE
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Petroleum Institute, P.O. Box 2533 Abu Dhabi, UAE
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 February 2014 / Revised: 8 April 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
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Abstract

It is common knowledge that the presence of trace metals in biofuels can be detrimental to the environment and long-term sustainable development. This study provides an insight into selective catalytic preparation of biofuel to compare uptake of trace metals in the biodiesel fraction with preferential base catalysts. The role of specific metal hydroxides in controlling trace metal content in biofuel production is relatively unexplored, and the effect of different homogeneous catalysts (NaOH, KOH) on metal retention in biodiesel from commercial neem oil was examined. A detailed study of this nature of catalyst vs. metal uptake is in the interest of sustainable living and could make a significant contribution to biofuels research. Both catalysts displayed variable uptake for certain toxic elements, which was attributed to the behavior of the catalyst in the reaction mixture. A general comparison reflected specific trends in metal retention (ICP-MS) with the use of different base catalysts. Challenges encountered by extending the study and using a heterogeneous catalyst (CaO) are presented. Our work could play a significant role in influencing catalyzed transesterfication processes to control elemental and toxic metal uptake in biofuels. The impact of our work on sustainable living is presented. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiesel; trace/toxic metals; sustainability; homogeneous/heterogeneous catalysts; ICP-MS biodiesel; trace/toxic metals; sustainability; homogeneous/heterogeneous catalysts; ICP-MS
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Elkadi, M.; Pillay, A.; Manuel, J.; Khan, M.Z.; Stephen, S.; Molki, A. Sustainability Study on Heavy Metal Uptake in Neem Biodiesel Using Selective Catalytic Preparation and Hyphenated Mass Spectrometry. Sustainability 2014, 6, 2413-2423.

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