Highly efficient synthesis of biodiesel catalyzed by a cellulose@hematite-zirconia nanocomposite

Helmiyati Helmiyati, Yuni Budiman, Gusma Harfiana Abbas, Fitriyah Wulan Dini, Munawar Khalil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The depletion of fossil fuels calls for the development of renewable alternatives such as biodiesel and has inspired much research on catalysts for the production of biodiesel through the esterification of biomass-derived materials. Herein, a green heterogeneous catalyst for highly efficient biodiesel synthesis was fabricated from rice straw–derived cellulose, hematite, and zirconia and was shown to contain porous irregularly shaped α-Fe2O3–ZrO2 composites (average particle size = 42.5 nm) evenly distributed on the nanocellulose surface. The optimal catalyst (nanocellulose:α-Fe2O3–ZrO2 = 2:1, w/w) afforded biodiesel in a yield of 92.50% and with specifications close to those prescribed by international standards. This catalyst could be reused for up to five cycles without a marked activity loss, with the biodiesel yield in the fifth cycle equaling 80.0%. The developed nanocomposite holds great promise for cutting the costs of biodiesel production, as it is derived from biodegradable raw materials and is renewable, non-corrosive, easy to handle, and green. In addition, the large-scale discharge of this catalyst after use does not pose a hazard to the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere06622
JournalHeliyon
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Biodiesel
  • Cellulose
  • Heterogeneous catalyst
  • Lauric acid
  • Rice straw

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