The production of biodiesel from plum waste oil using nano-structured catalyst loaded into supports

Sci Rep. 2021 Dec 16;11(1):24120. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-03633-w.


The present study was undertaken with aims to produced catalyst loaded on low-cost clay supports and to utilize plum waste seed oil for the production of biodiesel. For this purpose, Bentonite-potassium ferricyanide, White pocha-potassium ferricyanide, Granite-potassium ferricyanide, Sindh clay-potassium ferricyanide, and Kolten-potassium ferricyanide composites were prepared. Transesterification of plum oil under the different conditions of reactions like catalysts concentrations (0.15, 0.3 and 0.6 g), temperature (50, 60, 70 and 80 °C), reaction time (2, 4 and 6 h) and oil to methanol ratio (1:10) was conducted. The maximum biodiesel yield was recorded for Bentonite-potassium ferricyanide composite. This composite was subjected to calcination process to produce Calcinized bentonite-potassium ferricyanide composite and a further improvement in biodiesel amount was recorded. The fuel quality parameters of all biodiesel samples were in standard range. Gas chromatographic mass spectrometric analysis confirmed the presence of oleic and linoleic acids in the plum seed oil. The characterization of composite was done using FTIR, SEM and EDX. Two infrared bands are observed in the spectrum from 1650 to 1630 cm-1 indicates that the composite materials contained highly hydrogen bonded water. The presence of surface hydroxyls groups can also be confirmed from FTIR data. SEM image clearly show the presence of nano-rods on the surface of Granite-potassium ferricyanide and Kolten-potassium ferricyanide composites. Another interesting observation that can be recorded from SEM images is the changes in surface characteristic of Bentonite-potassium ferricyanide composite after calcination (at 750 °C, 1 atm for 4 h). Calcinized bentonite-potassium ferricyanide composite found to contain more nano rod like structures at its surface as compared to Bentonite-potassium ferricyanide composite which contained spherical particles. EDX data of Bentonite-potassium ferricyanide composite and Calcinized bentonite-potassium ferricyanide composite show that after calcination carbon and oxygen was reduced. The other lost volatile compounds after calcination were of Na, Mg, Al, Si, and S. The XRD spectrum of pure bentonite showed the average crystal size of 24.46 nm and calcinized bentonite of 25.59 nm. The average crystal size of bentonite and potassium ferricyanide composite and its calcinized form was around 33.76 nm and 41.05 nm, respectively.