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Time-resolved in-situ X-ray diffraction study of CaO and CaO:Ca3Al2O6 composite catalysts for biodiesel production

DOI: 10.1088/2515-7655/ac0413 DOI Help

Authors: A. Damiano Bonaccorso (University of St Andrews) , Despoina Papargyriou (University of St Andrews) , Aida Fuente Cuesta (University of St Andrews) , Oxana Magdysyuk (Diamond Light Source) , Stefan Michalik (Diamond Light Source) , Thomas Connolley (Diamond Light Source) , Julia Louise Payne (University of St Andrews) , John Irvine (University of St Andrews)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of Physics: Energy

State: Published (Approved)
Published: May 2021
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 20820

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Alternative and sustainable waste sources are receiving increasing attention as they can be used to produce biofuels with a low carbon footprint. Waste fish oil is one such example and can be considered an abundant and sustainable waste source to produce biodiesel. Ultimately this could lead to fishing communities having their own "off-grid" source of fuel for boats and vehicles. At the industrial level biodiesel is currently produced by homogeneous catalysis because of the high catalyst activity and selectivity. In contrast, heterogeneous catalysis offers several advantages such as improved reusability, reduced waste and lower processing costs. Here we investigate the phase evolution of two heterogeneous catalysts, CaO and a Ca3Al2O6:CaO ('C3A:CaO') composite, under in-situ conditions for biodiesel production from fish oil. A new reactor was designed to monitor the evolution of the crystalline catalyst during the reaction using synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD). The amount of calcium diglyceroxide (CaDG) began to increase rapidly after approximately 30 minutes, for both catalysts. This rapid increase in CaDG could be linked to ex-situ NMR studies which showed that the conversion of fish oil to biodiesel rapidly increased after 30 minutes. The key to the difference in activity of the two catalysts appears to be that the Ca3Al2O6:CaO composite maintains a high rate of calcium diglyceroxide formation for longer than CaO, although the initial formation rates and reaction kinetics are similar. Overall this specialised in-situ set-up has been shown to be suitable to monitor the phase evolution of heterogeneous crystalline catalysts during the triglycerides transesterification reaction, offering the opportunity to correlate the crystalline phases to activity, deactivation and stability.

Diamond Keywords: Biofuel

Subject Areas: Energy, Chemistry, Environment

Instruments: I12-JEEP: Joint Engineering, Environmental and Processing

Added On: 25/05/2021 09:21


Discipline Tags:

Bioenergy Earth Sciences & Environment Biotechnology Sustainable Energy Systems Energy Climate Change Physical Chemistry Catalysis Chemistry Engineering & Technology

Technical Tags:

Diffraction X-ray Powder Diffraction