Catalysis Letters

, Volume 149, Issue 9, pp 2433–2443 | Cite as

Lithium Doping Y2O3: A Highly Efficient Solid Base Catalyst for Biodiesel Synthesis with Excellent Water Resistance and Acid Resistance

  • Pingbo ZhangEmail author
  • Xuan Chen
  • Chengguang Yue
  • Mingming FanEmail author
  • Pingping Jiang
  • Yuming Dong


A series of nLi–Y2O3 catalysts with different proportion of lithium oxide were prepared by wet impregnation method, the 0.1Li–Y2O3 catalyst exhibited highly efficient catalytic activity in biodiesel synthesis. The as-prepared catalysts were characterized by XRD, SEM, TEM, CO2–TPD and XPS techniques. The results indicated that the significant change in the basicity of Y2O3 with the addition of Li was attributed to the strong interaction produced by electron transfer between the components of the 0.1Li–Y2O3 catalyst and the distortion areas formed at the interface of crystal grains (grain boundaries) in Y2O3 nanocrystals. The load of lithium enhanced electron pair donating ability of the surface oxygen atom which made the catalyst easier to capture H+ from CH3OH, and promoted the yield of biodiesel eventually. At the same time, the experiment verified that the catalyst had outstanding reusability and universality on transesterification of different oils into biodiesel. When the acid value was 8.1 mg KOH/g, the yield of biodiesel still exceeded 80%. Furthermore, the yield of biodiesel was maintained above 90% after adding 2 wt% of water to palm oil, which indicated that 0.1Li–Y2O3 catalyst had good water resistance. The 0.1Li–Y2O3 catalyst was believed as an exceptional competitive catalyst for future commercial biodiesel production applications.

Graphic Abstract


Solid base Basic site Biodiesel Transesterification Water resistance 



This study was funded by the Key Research and Development Program of Jiangsu Province (Industry Outlook and Common Key Technologies) (Grant No. BE2015204), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (Grant No. 21306063), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. JUSRP51623A), MOE & SAFEA for the 111 Project (Grant No. B13025) and International Joint Research Laboratory for Biomass Conversion Technology at Jiangnan University. We gratefully acknowledged to these funded groups.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10562_2019_2846_MOESM1_ESM.docx (88 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 87 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Synthetic and Biological Colloids, Ministry of Education, School of Chemical and Material EngineeringJiangnan UniversityWuxiChina

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