Optimization of Biodiesel Production from Sunflower Oil Transesterification using Ca-K/Al2O3 Nanocatalysts

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Razi University, Kermanshah, Irand Chemistry, Razi University

3 Department of Environmental Sciences, School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, University of South Africa, Florida, South Africa

4 Department of Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

5 Department of Chemical Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran

6 UNESCO-UNISA Africa Chair in Nanosciences and Nanotechnology, College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa, Muckleneuk Ridge, Pretoria, South Africa

7 Nanosciences African Network (NANOAFNET), iThemba LABS-National Research Foundation, 1 Old Faure Road, Somerset West, Somerset West, Western Cape, South Africa


In this study, an attempt was made to optimize the conditions for the transesterification of sunflower oil with methanol, catalyzed by Ca-K/Al2O3 nanocatalysts, using response surface methodology. The examined variables were reaction temperature (55, 65 and 75 °C), reaction time (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 h), catalyst weight base oil (3, 6, 9 and 12 wt%), Ca content (20, 30, 50, 60 and 80 wt%), K content (5, 10, 15 and 20), methanol:sunflower oil molar ratio (3:1, 6:1, 9:1 and 12:1), calcination temperature (600, 700 and 800 °C) and calcination time (1, 2, 3 and 4 h). Catalyst characterization was done by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and temperature programmed desorption (TPD). The maximum fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) conversion efficiency (biodiesel production efficiency) was 98.3%, at a calcination temperature of 800 °C for 3 h, a methanol-to-oil ratio of 9:1, a reaction temperature of 75 °C, a reaction time of 3 h and a catalyst-to-oil mass ratio of 9%.


Main Subjects

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