Biodiesel is an environment-friendly renewable energy. The critical issues on biodiesel studies are the development of recyclable and reusable solid catalyst and the use of non-edible oil such as Jatropha oil as feedstock. Fang’s team from XTBG uses coprecipitation-calcination-reduction method to prepare solid CaFe2O4-Ca2Fe2O5-Fe3O4-Fe catalyst with certain magnetism. This catalyst maintains a relative high activity on catalytic transesterification, and concurrently solves the separation of solid catalyst from products, as well as the disposal of waste acidic liquid and unwanted emulsification in homogeneous catalysis. The conversion of soybean and Jatropha oils to biodiesel over this catalyst reach 83.5% and 78.2%, respectively. The main active components of catalyst are calcium ferrites on the catalyst surface. The magnetic catalyst could be recycled and reused for three times, which shows a potential application for the green production of biodiesel.
Related paper titled “Biodiesel Production from Soybean and Jatropha Oils by Magnetic CaFe2O4-Ca2Fe2O5-Based Catalyst” was published on the journal “Energy” (Energy, 2014, 68: 584-591, IF =3.65).