Synthesis of SO42–/ZrO2 Solid Acid and Na2O/ZrO2 Solid Base Catalysts Using Hydrothermal Method for Biodiesel Production from Low-Grade Crude Palm Oil

Sri Setyaningsih(1), Maisari Utami(2), Akhmad Syoufian(3), Eddy Heraldy(4), Nasih Widya Yuwono(5), Karna Wijaya(6*)

(1) Department of Science Education, Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Universitas Islam Lamongan, Jl. Veteran No. 53A, Lamongan 62211, Indonesia
(2) Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Islam Indonesia, Jl. Kaliurang km. 14, Yogyakarta 55584, Indonesia
(3) Department of Chemistry, Faculty Mathematics and Natural Science, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Sekip Utara, PO BOX BLS 21, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
(4) Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Sebelas Maret University, Jl. Ir. Sutami 36A, Surakarta 57126, Central Java, Indonesia
(5) Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. Flora, Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
(6) Department of Chemistry, Faculty Mathematics and Natural Science, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Sekip Utara, PO BOX BLS 21, Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
(*) Corresponding Author


Biodiesel is a renewable energy source that can be produced through esterification as well as transesterification reactions. This work presents a series of zirconia catalysts synthesized by hydrothermal method on various concentrations in acidic (H2SO4 0.3, 0.5, and 0.7 M) and basic (NaOH 1, 2, 3, and 4 M) solution to get a catalyst with the highest acidity or basicity. Characterizations of the catalysts were performed by FTIR, XRD, SEM-EDX, surface area analysis, acidity, and basicity test. The most active acid catalyst activity was evaluated for the esterification of low-grade crude palm oil (LGCPO), while the solid base catalyst was utilized for the transesterification reaction. The solid acid catalyst of 0.7 M SO42–/ZrO2 60 °C; 24 h was denoted as the most active acid catalyst with a total acidity of 1.86 mmol g–1, while 4 M Na2O/ZrO2 60 °C; 24 h catalyst was considered as the solid base catalyst with the highest total basicity of 3.75 ± 0.12 mmol g–1. The optimized acid catalyst exhibited a 31 times higher acidity than commercial ZrO2. The concentration of free fatty acids (FFA) decreased to 68.87% in the esterification reaction. The solid base catalyst of 4 M Na2O/ZrO2 60 °C; 24 h successfully converted LGCPO into biodiesel by 68.55% through a transesterification reaction.


SO42–/ZrO2 solid acid catalyst; Na2O/ZrO2 solid base catalyst; esterification; transesterification; biodiesel

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