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High purity FAU-type zeolite catalysts from shale rock for biodiesel production

Doyle, AM, Alismaeel, ZT, Albayati, T and Abbas, A (2017) High purity FAU-type zeolite catalysts from shale rock for biodiesel production. Fuel, 199. pp. 394-402. ISSN 0016-2361


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FAU-type zeolite was prepared using Irish shale rock and tested as a catalyst in the liquid-phase esterification of oleic acid (a model test reaction for biodiesel production). A systematic study was conducted (over the stated preparation ranges) by varying the water:shale ratio (4:1–15:1 by mass), and mixing (1–24 h), aging (6–48 h) and hydrothermal treatment times (6–72 h) to determine the optimal parameters. XRD confirmed that the product purity was highly dependent on the experimental conditions used. The BET surface area of the calcined FAU-type zeolite was 571 m2 g−1 and its crystal purity was comparable to that of a commercial zeolite Y. The prepared zeolite was catalytically active in the esterification of oleic acid with ethanol reaching a maximum of 78% conversion after 90 mins, which is practically identical to that recorded for commercial zeolite Y.

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