Immobilizing Ni (II)-Exchanged Heteropolyacids on Silica as Catalysts for Acid-Catalyzed Esterification Reactions
Biodiesel was synthesized from oleic acid using Ni (II)-exchanged heteropolyacids immobilized on silica (Ni0.5H3SiW / SiO2 ) as a solid acid catalyst. Based on detailed analyses of FT-IR, XRD, TG and SEM, the structural, surface and thermal stability of Ni0.5H3SiW / SiO2 were investigated. Obtained results demonstrated that the Keggin structure was well in the immobilization process and possess a high thermal stability. Various esterification reaction conditions and reusability of catalyst were studied. High oleic acid conversion of 81.4 % was observed at a 1:22 mole ratio (oleic acid: methanol), 3 wt. % catalyst at 70 °C for 4 h. The Ni0.5H3SiW / SiO2 catalyst was reused for several times and presented relatively stable. More interestingly, the kinetic studies revealed the esterification process was compatible with the first order model, and a lower activation energy was obtained in this catalytic system.