A novel magnetic solid base catalyst consisting of an MgFe2O4-MgO nanocomposite was successfully prepared by synthesizing magnesium ferrite (MgFe2O4) as the catalyst support, and it was employed in an esterification reaction for the production of biodiesel. MgFe2O4 was synthesized by a ball-milling mechanochemical method at various furnace temperatures (350°C, 550°C and 750°C), and the best results were obtained at 750°C. The results of TEM revealed an average size of 39 nm. A nanocomposite of MgFe2O4-MgO was successfully synthesized in this study, as confirmed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive x-ray (SEM-EDX) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) characterization. The results of the FTIR characterization revealed peaks with wavenumbers corresponding to Mg-O and Fe-O bonds in the range of 500-900 cm-1, SEM mapping showed that MgO was distributed on the surface of the MgFe2O4 catalyst support, and the MgFe2O4-MgO average size was found to be 50 nm by TEM. The influence of MgO on MgFe2O4 was determined by varying the molar ratio of MgFe2O4 to MgO from 1: 1, 1: 2 and 1: 3 and by studying the catalytic activity in the esterification of oleic acid to biodiesel. The best MgFe2O4-MgO nanocomposite have a molar ratio of 1: 2 and gave a percent conversion of 96.089%. Impregnating MgFe2O4 with MgO increased the number of basic active sites, thereby increasing the catalytic activity. This type of nanocomposite is a promising new material for future catalysts.
- Magnesium Ferrite
- Oleic Acid