Optimising the nanoporous architecture of solid acid and base catalysts for biodiesel synthesis

Karen Wilson

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Dwindling oil reserves and growing concerns over CO2 emissions and associated climate change are driving the utilisation of renewable feedstocks as alternative, sustainable fuel sources. While rising oil prices are improving the commercial feasibility of biodiesel production, many current processes still employ homogeneous acid and/or base catalysts to transform plant or algae oil into the fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) components of biodiesel. Fuel purification requires energy intensive aqueous quench and neutralization steps, thus the rational design of new high activity catalysts is required to deliver biodiesel as a major player in the 21st century sustainable energy portfolio. Advances in the development of heterogeneous catalysts for biodiesel synthesis require catalysts with pore architectures designed to improve the accessibility of bulky viscous reactants typical of plant oils. Here we discuss how improvements to active site accessibility and catalyst activity in transesterification or esterification reactions can be achieved either by designing hierarchical pore networks or by pore expansion and use of interconnected pore architectures.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2013
Event245th ACS National Meeting - New Orleans, LA, United States
Duration: 7 Apr 201311 Apr 2013


Conference245th ACS National Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans, LA


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  • 245th ACS National Meeting

    Karen Wilson (Speaker)


    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

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