Due to the high content (25-50%) of free fatty acid (FFA), crude rice bran oil usually requires a two steps conversion or one step conversion with very harsh condition for simultaneous esterification and transesterification. In this study, chlorosulfonic acid modified zirconia (HClSO3-ZrO2) with strong acidity and durability is prepared and it shows excellent catalytic activity toward simultaneous esterification and transesterification. Under a relative low reaction temperature of 120°C, HClSO3-ZrO2catalyzes a complete conversion of simulated crude rice bran oil (refined oil with 40wt% FFA) into biodiesel and the conversion yield keep at above 92% for at least three cycles. Further investigation on the tolerance towards FFA and water reveals that it maintains high activity even with the presence of 40wt% FFA and 3wt% water. It shows that HClSO3-ZrO2is a robust and durable catalyst which shows high potential to be commercial catalyst for biodiesel production from low grade feedstock.
- Chlorosulfonic acid
- Rice bran oil
- Simultaneous esterification and transesterification
- Sulfated zirconia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Waste Management and Disposal