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Open AccessArticle

On the Impact of the Preparation Method on the Surface Basicity of Mg–Zr Mixed Oxide Catalysts for Tributyrin Transesterification

1
Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Minia University, El-Minia 61519, Egypt
2
European Bioenergy Research Institute, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Aston University, Aston Triangle, B4 7ET Birmingham, UK
3
School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2018, 8(6), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8060228
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
Mixed metal oxides are promising heterogeneous catalysts for biofuel production from lipids via alcoholysis, however, the impact of solid acidity and/or basicity on reactivity is comparatively poorly understood. Two systematically related families of MgO–ZrO2 mixed oxide catalysts were therefore prepared by different synthetic routes to elucidate the impact of surface acid-base properties on catalytic performance in the transesterification of tributyrin with methanol. The resulting materials were characterized by TGA-MS, ICP-OES, N2 porosimetry, XRD, TEM, XPS, DRIFTS, and CO2-temperature-programmed desorption (TPD). MgO–ZrO2 catalysts prepared by both non-aqueous impregnation and citric acid-mediated sol–gel routes exhibit excellent activity and stability. The citrate routes favor highly dispersed MgO and concomitant Lewis acid-base pair formation at the interface with zirconia. However, for both the citrate and impregnation routes, tributyrin transesterification occurs over a common, strongly basic MgO active site. View Full-Text
Keywords: solid base; MgO; transesterification; mixed oxide; biodiesel solid base; MgO; transesterification; mixed oxide; biodiesel
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rabee, A.I.M.; Manayil, J.C.; Isaacs, M.A.; Parlett, C.M.A.; Durndell, L.J.; Zaki, M.I.; Lee, A.F.; Wilson, K. On the Impact of the Preparation Method on the Surface Basicity of Mg–Zr Mixed Oxide Catalysts for Tributyrin Transesterification. Catalysts 2018, 8, 228.

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