Synthesis of Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch Derived Magnetic Solid Acid Catalyst for Levulinate Production

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Gowri K.S.
Fei-Ling P.
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IOP Publishing Ltd
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Ethyl levulinate is widely known as a fuel additive, flavour, and fragrance components. In this study, the biomass-derived magnetic catalyst was synthesised, and its efficiency was evaluated in the esterification reaction. Oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) was used in the preparation of the solid magnetic catalyst. The synthesised catalyst was analysed by scanning electron microscope (SEM), electron dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) analyses, and acidic test. The magnetisation value of 24.97 emu/g for EFB fiber-MAC was reported that the catalyst has excellent magnetic properties and a strong acid density of 2.4 mmol/g. The catalytic performance was evaluated via the esterification of levulinic acid. The highest ethyl levulinate conversion of 66.78 mol% and yield of 84.87 mol% were recorded corresponding to 10 wt% catalyst loading and 10:1 ethanol to levulinic acid molar ratio with reaction temperature of 70 C for 5 h. FTIR and GC-FID analysis confirmed the appearance of the ester group after the esterification reaction. Finally, the magnetically separable catalyst can be easily separated, and it shows a potential solution to the utilisation of heterogeneous catalysts in the esterification reaction. � Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.
Biomass; Chemical analysis; Esterification; Esters; Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; Fruits; Fuel additives; Magnetism; Molar ratio; Organic acids; Palm oil; Scanning electron microscopy; X ray spectroscopy; Catalytic performance; Esterification reactions; Heterogeneous catalyst; Magnetically separable catalysts; Oil palm empty fruit bunch; Oil palm empty fruit bunches (EFB); Reaction temperature; Vibrating sample magnetometer; Catalysts