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Cs Promoted Triglyceride Transesterification Over MgO Nanocatalysts

Abstract

The influence of Cs on the structure and basicity of nanocrystalline MgO was assessed via electron microscopy, CO2 chemisorption, XRD and XPS. Caesium incorporation via co-precipitation under supercritical conditions generates Cs2Mg(CO3)2 nanocrystallites with an enhanced density and strength of surface base sites. Wet impregnation proved less effective for modifying MgO nanocrystals. A strong synergy between Cs and Mg components in the co-precipitated material dramatically enhanced the rate of tributyrin transesterification with methanol relative to undoped MgO and homogeneous Cs2CO3 catalysts. On-stream deactivation of Cs-doped MgO reflects heavy surface carbon deposition and loss of the high activity Cs2Mg(CO3)2 phase due to limited Cs dissolution.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council [EP/E013090/1, EP/F063423]. JMM thanks BP Biofuels and the EPSRC for the award of a studentship. AFL thanks the EPSRC for the award of a Leadership Fellowship [EP/G007594/1].

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Correspondence to Karen Wilson or Adam F. Lee.

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Montero, J.M., Wilson, K. & Lee, A.F. Cs Promoted Triglyceride Transesterification Over MgO Nanocatalysts. Top Catal 53, 737–745 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11244-010-9461-4

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Keywords

  • Alkali metal-doping
  • Basicity
  • Biodiesel
  • Catalysis
  • Nanocrystalline MgO
  • Transesterification