Novel 3d Printed Catalytic Material for Being used as Heterogeneous Catalyst for Biofuel Production
According to the World Energy Council, about 82\% of the world's energy needs are currently covered by fossil resources such as petroleum, natural gas and coal. Worldwide, the public awareness has increased about the future of our energy supply, not only because it is going to run out in short period of time, but also because the burning of petroleum products brings ecological disadvantages such as greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, acid rain. Biodiesel is cleaner-burning than petroleum diesel, it has been demonstrated to have significant environmental benefits in terms of decreased global warming impacts, reduced emissions, greater energy independence and a positive impact on agriculture. It is proved that the use of Biodiesel leads to significant reduction in CO, CO2, HC and smoke emission levels. Nevertheless, biodiesel is non-toxic, biodegradable and safer to ship. Spills do not require emergency response clean-up activities. The most common way to produce biodiesel is through transesterification, especially alkali-catalyzed transesterification. Almost all vegetable oils and animal fats can be used as raw material for the production of biodiesel. Most of these oils and fats have a similar chemical composition, constituting in triglycerides with different amounts and types of fatty acids. The production of biodiesel involves a reaction between a vegetable oil or animal fat and alcohol (Ethanol or Methanol) to create fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) and Glycerol as byproduct. The use of biodiesel is the energy alternative that can be ecological friendly when produced with low-cost renewable feed-stock. When used cooking oil is recycled to produce biodiesel, is reduced the quantity of used oil as a residue in the environment. This is a way of transforming waste into energy. However, low quality-feedstock such as non-edible oils, used cooking oils have a have a high percentage of free fatty acids and water, which affect the biodiesel reaction yields. In order to produce biodiesel from waste oil, the same quality specifications must be fulfilled these strict guidelines are published in EN 14214, which contains all the relevant fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) properties, requirements and test methods currently considered necessary to define the product for use as a diesel fuel for motor vehicles and as fuel oil. Yttria stabilized zirconia YSZ is as an oxygen ion conductor and it has many applications. This ceramic material has different properties such as good thermal stability, selective bulk oxygen mobility and high surface oxygen vacancy concentration. In this study YSZ was used as catalytic material. YSZ is well established in the field of heterogeneous catalysis providing high dispersion and surface area for the catalyst. In previous studies the impregnation of potassium in a heterogeneous material named pumice was studied. It was found that the potassium species were found highly distributed upon the surface of the support and that the material retained its structure that was important In this work were developed a new types of catalytic material for biodiesel production. Yttria-stabilized zirconia were studied as heterogeneous catalyst and their catalytic activity for transesterification reaction were tested using sunflower oil and low-cost renewable feedstock. The main advantage from a heterogeneous catalyst constituted from YSZ is its high porosity, giving more space for the catalytic active sites. Catalytic particles have been made by 3D printing. This technique for develop catalytic material and catalytic reactors shows advantages during the reaction for biofuel production due to the fact that the catalytic material can be configured in a fixed bed reactor with continuous operation. Catalyst acts in the reaction in other phase than reactive and products obtaining more purified products, avoiding the cleaning process needed for obtaining product in adequate commercial specifications. The main challenge to biodiesel production from low-quality oils is the high percentage of free fatty acids (FFAs) and water in the feedstock that causes undesirable side reactions. The studied new catalyst materials showed good performance in the biodiesel production reaction.