Iranian researchers from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad succeeded in the production of biodiesel fuel from soya oil to reduce pollutions caused by fossil fuels.
They have suggested a nanocatalyst that facilitates and speeds up the synthesis process.
Researchers try to replace fossil fuels with alternative ones due to the shortage of fossil fuels and pollutions caused by them. Biodiesel is an appropriate alternative, which has been known as a replacement for diesel. This fuel is synthesized through the reaction of herbal and animal oils and edible waste oils with alcohol. The production of biodiesel fuel with homogenous catalyst has so far been expensive in comparison with the production of diesel fuel. This research tries to propose a new method for the production of biodiesel by presenting a solid non-homogenous nanocatalyst.
In this research, a simple, cost-effective and fast method was proposed for the synthesis of biodiesel through ultrasonic waves by using potassium fluoride – gamma alumina (KF/ γ-Al2O3) nanocatalyst. This method is in full agreement with green chemistry principles. The fuel has been made of soya oil and has the appropriate characteristics to be used as a fuel.
Among the advantages of the nanocatalyst, mention can be made of its reasonable price, ease of separation from the product, the possibility of recycling and re-use, resistance of the reaction cell to corrosion, and the lack of the conversion of the product to soapy form.
Taking into account the cost-effective price of this method, it is expected that the industrial synthesis of biodiesel becomes possible by using the non-homogenous nanocatalyst used in this research.
Results of the research have been published in Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, vol. 23, issue 1, 2015, pp. 266-274.