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Environment-Friendly Heterogeneous Alkaline-Based Mixed Metal Oxide Catalysts for Biodiesel Production

Nanotechnology & Catalysis Research Centre (NanoCat), Institute of Postgraduate Studies, University Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Monash University, Sunway Campus, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, 46150 Sunway Selangor, Malaysia
Catalysis Science and Technology Research Centre (PutraCat), Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kent Hoekman
Energies 2016, 9(8), 611;
Received: 15 April 2016 / Revised: 24 June 2016 / Accepted: 29 June 2016 / Published: 3 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Bioenergy and Biofuel)
PDF [2497 KB, uploaded 3 August 2016]


The critical problem arising from the depletion of fossil fuels has stimulated recent interests in alternative sources for petroleum-based fuel. An alternative fuel should be technically feasible, readily available, sustainable, and techno-economically competitive. Biodiesel is considered as a potential replacement of conventional diesel fuel, which is prepared from non-edible and high-acid feedstock via transesterification technology. The focus of this study is to investigate the catalytic activity of mixed metal oxides (MMOs) as catalysts for biodiesel production by using non-edible jatropha oil as feedstock. Various types of MMOs (CaO-MgO, CaO-ZnO, CaO-La2O3, and MgO-ZnO) were synthesized via a co-precipitation method. In this study, transesterification activities are closely related to the physicochemical properties of catalysts. The presence of different active metals in the binary system greatly influenced the surface area, basicity, and the stability of catalysts. The catalytic activity of MMO catalysts was increased in the order of CaO-ZnO (94% ± 1%) > CaO ~ CaO-MgO ~ CaO-La2O3 (~90% ± 2%) > MgO-ZnO (83% ± 2%) > MgO (64% ± 1%) > ZnO (41% ± 2%) > La2O3 (23% ± 1%). In addition, the MMO catalysts, especially CaO-ZnO, demonstrated high reusability and catalyst stability for four cycles of transesterification reaction of jatropha oil. View Full-Text
Keywords: biodiesel; transesterification; non-edible oil; mixed metal oxides; solid catalyst biodiesel; transesterification; non-edible oil; mixed metal oxides; solid catalyst

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lee, H.V.; Juan, J.C.; Yun Hin, T.-Y.; Ong, H.C. Environment-Friendly Heterogeneous Alkaline-Based Mixed Metal Oxide Catalysts for Biodiesel Production. Energies 2016, 9, 611.

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