Biodiesel production from transesterification of vegetable oils in excess methanol was performed by using as-prepared catalyst from low-cost kaolin clay. This effective heterogeneous catalyst was successfully prepared from natural kaolin firstly by dehydroxylation at 800. °C for 10. h and, subsequently, by NaOH-activation hydrothermally at 90. °C for 24. h and calcined again at 500. °C for 6. h. The as-obtained catalytic material was characterized with instruments, including FT-IR, XRD, SEM, and porosimeter (BET/BJH analysis). The as-prepared catalyst was advantageous not only for its easy preparation, but also for its cost-efficiency and superior catalysis in transesterification of vegetable oils in excess methanol to produce fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs). Conversion efficiencies of soybean and palm oils to biodiesel over the as-prepared catalysts reached 97.0. ±. 3.0% and 95.4. ±. 3.7%, respectively, under optimal conditions. Activation energies of transesterification reactions of soybean and palm oils in excess methanol using these catalysts are 14.09. kJ/mol and 48.87. kJ/mol, respectively.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes