Synthesis and Characterization of Sodium Silicate Produced from Corncobs as a Heterogeneous Catalyst in Biodiesel Production

Alwi Gery Agustan Siregar(1), Renita Manurung(2*), Taslim Taslim(3)

(1) Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Jl. Almamater, Padang Bulan, Medan 20155, Indonesia
(2) Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Jl. Almamater, Padang Bulan, Medan 20155, Indonesia
(3) Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Jl. Almamater, Padang Bulan, Medan 20155, Indonesia
(*) Corresponding Author


In this study, silica derived from corncobs impregnated with sodium hydroxide to obtain sodium silicate was calcined, prepared, and employed as a solid base catalyst for the conversion of oils to biodiesel. The catalyst was characterized by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscope Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), and Brunauer-Emmet-Teller (BET) and Barrett-Joyner-Halenda (BJH) methods. Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) was used to characterize the biodiesel products. The optimum catalyst conditions were calcination temperature of 400 °C for 2 h, catalyst loading of 2%, and methanol: oil molar ratio of 12:1 at 60 °C for 60 min, that resulted in a yield of 79.49%. The final product conforms to the selected biodiesel fuel properties of European standard (EN14214) specifications. Calcined corncob-derived sodium silicate showed high potential for use as a low-cost, high-performance, simple-to-prepare solid catalyst for biodiesel synthesis.


biodiesel; corncobs; silica; heterogeneous catalyst

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