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Biodiesel Production by Novel Catalysts

This project aims to design a continuous reactor loaded with heterogeneous catalyst system, so as to replace the widely used industrial batch reactors with homogeneous catalyst system for biodiesel production. Using of heterogeneous catalysts is the trend nowadays due to its clean and reusable advantages. In this project, we use template technique to prepare solid base-acid catalysts for waste cooking oil based biodiesel production. Besides, we combine the heterogeneous catalysts with pre-treatment equipment, mixer, reactor and separator.
 
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Scheme of biodiesel production system
 
As the waste cooking oil has large content of water and high acid value. Using of conventional basic alkaline or alkaline earth oxide catalysts will cause saponification phenomenon and therefore bring difficulty for separation of biodiesel. In this project, we develop a new route for catalyst preparation, i.e., template technique. The catalyst prepared by this method has many advantages than impregnation and co-precipitation method, e.g., large BET surface area, ordered pore distribution, and base-acid properties.
 
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Scheme of catalyst preparation (left) SEM of template-based catalyst (right)
 
The research group including the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology(USST), East China University of Science and Technology(ECUST), Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and Mälardalen University (MDH) has been working on biodiesel production system since 2008 funded by Swedish Research Council (VR) and the China Natural Science Foundation(NSFC).

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