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In situ studies of structure-reactivity relations in biodiesel synthesis over nanocrystalline MgO

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JournalCHEMICAL ENGINEERING JOURNAL
DatePublished - 15 Jul 2010
Issue number3
Volume161
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)332-339
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

High temperature processing of solvothermally synthesised MgO nanoparticles promotes striking changes in their morphology, and surface chemical and electronic structure. As-prepared NanoMgO comprised similar to 4 nm cubic periclase nanocrystals, interspersed within an amorphous Mg(OH)(OCH3) matrix. These crystallites appear predominantly (1 0 0) terminated, and the overall material exhibits carbonate and hydroxyl surface functionalities of predominantly weak/moderate base character. Heating promotes gradual crystallisation and growth of the MgO nanoparticles, and concomitant loss of Mg(OH)(OCH3). In situ DRIFTS confirms the residual precursor and surface carbonate begin to decompose above 300 degrees C, while in situ XPS shows these morphological changes are accompanied by the disappearance of surface hydroxyl/methoxide species and genesis of O- centres which enhance both the surface density and basicity of the resulting stepped and defective MgO nanocrystals. The catalytic performance in tributyrin transesterification with methanol is directly proportional to the density of strong surface base sites. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Biodiesel, Catalysis, MgO, In situ XPS, TEM, UNIQUE SURFACE-CHEMISTRY, MAGNESIUM-OXIDE, SOYBEAN OIL, HYDROTALCITE CATALYSTS, THERMAL-DECOMPOSITION, MGO(111) NANOSHEETS, VEGETABLE-OILS, RAPESEED OIL, BASE SITES, TRANSESTERIFICATION

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