Production of biodiesel from Jatropha oil catalyzed by nanosized solid basic catalyst
In this work, hydrotalcite-derived particles with Mg/Al molar ratio of 3/1 were synthesized by a coprecipitation method using urea as precipitating agent, subsequently with (MHT) microwave-hydrothermal treatment, and followed by calcination at 773 K for 6 h. These particles were micro-sized mixed Mg/Al oxides as characterized by SEM and AFM. But actually they were nanosized according to the calculations from XRD data. Because of their strong basicity, the nanoparticles were further used as catalyst for biodiesel production from Jatropha oil after pretreatment. Experiments were conducted with the solid basic catalyst in an ultrasonic reactor under different conditions. At the optimized condition, biodiesel yield of 95.2% was achieved, and the biodiesel properties were close to those of the German standard. The catalyst can be reused for 8 times.