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Open AccessArticle

Rapid Jatropha-Castor Biodiesel Production with Microwave Heating and a Heterogeneous Base Catalyst Nano-Ca(OH)2/Fe3O4

Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan
Ph.D. Program in Toxicology, College of Pharmacy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 80708, Taiwan
Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Qatar Foundation Education City, Doha, Qatar
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Tian-Yi Ma, Jian-Rong (Jeff) Li and Cláudia Gomes Silva
Catalysts 2017, 7(7), 203;
Received: 31 March 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 19 June 2017 / Published: 4 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Materials for Applications in Heterogeneous Catalysis)
PDF [3805 KB, uploaded 5 July 2017]


In this study, a nano-Ca(OH)2/Fe3O4 catalyst was used to produce biodiesel from a 1:1 mixed jatropha-castor oil. By loading Ca(OH)2 onto Fe3O4 nanoparticles, it increased the specific surface area by almost 40%, which improved the catalytic activity as it provided a larger area for the reactants to interact. The main purpose of mixing jatropha oil with castor oil was to lower the viscosity of the castor oil. The transesterification reaction was carried out at elevated temperature, using a microwave heating system. Moreover, it was shown that the preferred reaction conditions are using high temperature and short reaction duration. The optimized yield of methyl ester was 95%, achieved by using a catalyst with a Ca:Fe ratio of 7:1, temperature of 65 °C, methanol/oil ratio of 12:1, and reaction time of 35 min. The catalyst was shown to be reusable, easily recyclable, and its activity was very stable. Only 2% of the catalyst was lost, and the yield was 3% lower after ten successive applications. The solid, magnetic base catalyst could be easily separated from the reaction products, unlike homogeneous catalysts. View Full-Text
Keywords: nano-Ca(OH)2/Fe3O4; biodiesel; microwave; heterogeneous catalyst nano-Ca(OH)2/Fe3O4; biodiesel; microwave; heterogeneous catalyst

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Chang, K.-L.; Lin, Y.-C.; Jhang, S.-R.; Cheng, W.L.; Chen, S.-C.; Mao, S.-Y. Rapid Jatropha-Castor Biodiesel Production with Microwave Heating and a Heterogeneous Base Catalyst Nano-Ca(OH)2/Fe3O4. Catalysts 2017, 7, 203.

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