A nanocomposite comprising cellulose and nanomagnetite based on rice husk cellulose was used as the catalyst for the formation of methyl esters from oleic acid as an alternative method for biodiesel production. The resulting nanocomposite properties supported by FTIR, XRD, SEM and TEM characterization revealed that nanomagnetite Fe3O4 had impregnated the acetylated nanocellulose. The nanomagnetite Fe3O4 obtained had an average size of 30 nm. The best conversion of oleic acid to methyl esters for the catalytic application of the nanocomposite was 89.21%, which was achieved at a reaction temperature of 60°C, reaction time of 5 hours, catalyst concentration of 1.5 wt.%, and ratio of oleic acid to methanol of 3:1. Kinetic analysis at different temperatures (40, 50, 60 and 70°C) was performed, and a low activation energy of 16.56 kJ/mole was obtained. These results indicate that the biopolymer-based nanocomposite utilizing nanocellulose from rice husks composited with inorganic Fe3O4 nanoparticles has good potential for use as a green biocatalyst, and the proposed reaction can be used as an innovative new method to produce biodiesel in the future.
- Methyl esters