Reusable Heterogeneous SnO2/ZnO Catalyst for Biodiesel Production from Acidified/Acid Oils


J. Braz. Chem. Soc.




A catalyst comprised of SnO2 impregnated on ZnO nanowires, which presented remarkable ability to catalyze fatty acid esterification/transesterification reactions, is reported. For optimization of reaction conditions, artificially acidified soybean oil with 10 wt.% oleic acid was used as a model feed. The optimized conditions were: 150 °C, 6 h, 5 g of oil, catalyst concentration of 5%, and methanol:oil molar ratio of 15:1. The catalyst achieved 92% of total fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) content and was used five times without the necessity of catalyst washing from one reaction to the other. Then, such conditions were applied to produce biodiesel from the oil extracted from Scenedesmus sp. microalgae; the system reached 72% of FAME content, without any previous refining or degumming process of the oil. Rietveld refinement, X-ray diffraction, elemental mapping in scanning transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and pyridine-desorption Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy were used to characterize the material.

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