Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2008, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (10): 1817-1823.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB20081014

• ARTICLE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

CaO as a Solid Base Catalyst for Transesterification of Soybean Oil

CAI Fan; ZHANG Bin-Bin; LIN Jing; ZHANG Guo-Yu; FANG Wei-Ping; YANG Le-Fu   

  1. Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, Fujian Province, P. R. China
  • Received:2008-02-28 Revised:2008-07-09 Published:2008-10-08
  • Contact: YANG Le-Fu

Abstract: Three different calciumoxide catalysts were synthesized fromdifferent precursors and characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and temperature-programmed desorption (TPD). They were used as catalysts in the transesterification of soybean oil (SBO) for the production of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME), namely biodiesel. Calciumoxide fromcalcite (Cal(N)) showed the highest activity towards the transesterification of SBO. The transesterification activity of CaO was found to be highly related to the basicity of the catalysts. The catalytic activity of CaO greatly decreased when CaO was exposed to CO2. (Raman spectroscopic studies demonstrated that the formation of CaCO3 and Ca(OH)2 on the surface of CaO when CaO was exposed to room air prevented CaO from participating in the transesterification of SBO). The degree of poisoning was highly dependent on the type of precursors with Cal(N) more resistant to CO2 poisoning than CaO from aragonite (Ara(N)). Deactivated CaO catalysts could be partially regenerated. A mechanism was proposed to explain the poisoning and regenerating processes. Furthermore, whether the solid phase of CaO or dissolved CaO was the active species in the transesterification of SBO was also investigated.

Key words: Calcium oxide, Calcium carbonate, Heterogenerous catalyst, Solid base, Raman spectrum, Transesterification, Biodiesel