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Preparation of sulfonated ordered mesoporous carbon catalyst and its catalytic performance for esterification of free fatty acids in waste cooking oils

Na, Sun, Minhua, Zhang, Xiuqin, Dong, Lingtao, Wang
RSC advances 2019 v.9 no.28 pp. 15941-15948
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, carbon, catalysts, catalytic activity, cation exchange resins, cooking fats and oils, esterification, free fatty acids, hydrophobicity, kitchen waste, liquids, methanol, nitrogen, porous media, sucrose, temperature, texture, transmission electron microscopy
Sulfonated ordered mesoporous carbon (SO₃H-OMC) solid acid catalysts from sucrose were prepared using hard-template method, and their catalytic performance as well as the deactivation mechanism for esterification of free fatty acids (FFAs) in waste cooking oils (WCOs) were evaluated. Effects of sulfonation time, sulfonation temperature and hard template structure type for the textural properties and acid properties of SO₃H-OMC were systematically investigated by N₂ adsorption–desorption, FT-IR, NH₃-TPD, TEM and strong acid density analysis. The results indicated that, SO₃H-OMC(s)-6-160 catalyst, which was prepared by using SBA-15 as hard template at sulfonation time of 6 h and sulfonation temperature of 160 °C, had well-ordered mesoporous structure and high –SO₃H groups density (2.32 mmol g⁻¹). Compared with SO₃H-APC-6-160 catalyst, cation-exchange resin D072 and SO₃H-OMC(k)-6-160 catalyst, it was found that the SO₃H-OMC(s)-6-160 catalyst exhibited highest activity (FFAs conversion was 93.8%) and good stability for the FFAs esterification, attributed to its 2D-hexagonal channels and hydrophobic surface. The –SO₃H groups being leached out of SO₃H-OMC catalysts into the liquid phase (especially methanol) would be the main reason causing catalyst deactivation.