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ZnO nanoparticle catalysts for use in biodiesel production and method of making

United States Patent

November 25, 2014
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A method of forming a biodiesel product and a heterogeneous catalyst system used to form said product that has a high tolerance for the presence of water and free fatty acids (FFA) in the oil feedstock is disclosed. This catalyst system may simultaneously catalyze both the esterification of FAA and the transesterification of triglycerides present in the oil feedstock. The catalyst system is comprised of a mixture of zinc oxide and a second metal oxide. The zinc oxide includes a mixture of amorphous zinc oxide and zinc oxide nanocrystals, the zinc nanocrystals having a mean grain size between about 20 and 80 nanometers with at least one of the nanocrystals including a mesopore having a diameter of about 5 to 15 nanometers. Preferably, the second metal oxide is a lanthanum oxide, the lanthanum oxide being selected as one from the group of La.sub.2CO.sub.5, LaOOH, and combinations or mixtures thereof.
Yan; Shuli (Detroit, MI), Salley; Steven O. (Grosse Pointe Park, MI), Ng; K. Y. Simon (West Bloomfield, MI)
Wayne State University (Detroit, MI)
12/ 485,433
June 16, 2009
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DEFG36-05G085005 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The U.S. government may retain certain rights to the invention.