• Biodiesel created from solid acid catalyst


Biodiesel created from solid acid catalyst

Dec 07 2011

Scientists have successfully produced biofuel directly from high-acid value Jatropha oil with a solid acid catalyst derived from lignin.

In a study published by the Biotechnology for Biofuels journal, teams from Malaysia and China hoped to identify a potential route for biodiesel production.

The scientists created the solid acid catalyst from Kraft lignin by chemical activation with phosphoric acid, pyrolysis and sulfuric acid.

They noted that the catalyst had high levels of acid density, which was characterised by three different analysis processes, namely scanning electron microscope, energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometry, and Brunauer, Emmett and Teller methods.

"The highest catalytic activity was achieved with a 96.1 per cent esterification rate, and the catalyst can be reused three times with little deactivation under optimized conditions," the report stated.

Furthermore, the catalyst can create a biodiesel yield of 96.3 per cent from non-pretreated Jatropha oil.

The scientists suggested that this could be a potential route for cheaper and simpler biodiesel production.

Posted by Neil Clark

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