Use of cellular ceramic-supported SrO as a catalyst for the synthesis of biodiesel

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Andreia de Araújo Morandim Giannetti
F. S. Ortega
Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings
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BASSETTI, F. B.; GIANNETTI, A. A. M.; ORTEGA, F. S. Use of cellular ceramic-supported SrO as a catalyst for the synthesis of biodiesel. Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, v. 34, n. 6, p. 145-155, jan. 2014.
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One of the most common methods for the production of biodiesel is the transesterification of oils in the presence of methanol and a catalyst. The catalysts may be homogeneous or heterogeneous, with the latter consuming less energy, being reusable, thus more environmentally attractive. Although there are many studies on the use of alkaline earth oxides as heterogeneous catalysts for the synthesis of biodiesel, few papers deal with the use of strontium oxide. Additionally, these catalysts have been studied as particles dispersed in the reaction medium. This study investigates the potential use of strontium oxide as a catalyst for the synthesis of biodiesel, initially as a particulate material, under various temperatures and catalyst concentrations in the reaction medium. The results showed that the strontium oxide is a potential catalyst, reaching up to 58% conversion. In a second step, a thin film of strontium oxide was deposited on a catalyst support consisting of a cylinder of cellular alumina produced by direct foaming of a suspension, followed by heating at 1500°C for 2 hours. This impregnated foam was used as the core of a plug flow reactor prototype for the synthesis of biodiesel. With this prototype it was possible to achieve up to 90% of conversion of soy oil and methanol into biodiesel, after 3 hours. This result discloses the potential of this new approach for the synthesis of biodiesel.