Synthesis and characterization of cobalt doped zinc oxide nanoparticles by microwave method and its application as catalyst for biodiesel production from soybean oil

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran

2 Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar, Iran


Today, biodiesel is being produced and consumed around the world as one of the main sources for replacing fossil fuels. In current research, cobalt doped zinc oxide was used as nanocatalyst to produce biodiesel from soybean oil by transesterification reaction. The nanocatalysts used were first prepared by microwave method and identified by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and x-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). In the next step, the prepared catalysts were used in the reaction of biodiesel production from soybean oil. The produced biodiesel was characterized using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). Optimal reaction conditions of biodiesel production with cobalt doped zinc oxide nanocatalyst obtained, at 3 h, temperature 60 ˚C, catalyst concentration 3% by weight, and molar ratio of oil to methanol 1 to 41 resulted in 98% efficiency. In another part of this research, microwave radiation with a power of 250 W was used as a source of energy in the biodiesel production reaction which in the presence of 4% by weight of catalyst and molar ratio of oil to methanol 1 to 20 resulted in 91% efficiency in 180 s.


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