Waste snail shell derived heterogeneous catalyst for biodiesel production by the transesterification of soybean oil†
A waste snail shell (Pila spp.) derived catalyst was used to produce biodiesel from soybean oil at room temperature for the first time. The snail shell was calcined at different temperatures of 400–1000 °C. The synthesized catalysts underwent XRD, SEM, TEM, EDS, FTIR, XRF, TG/DTA and N2 adsorption–desorption isotherm (BET) analysis. The major component CaO was determined at a calcination temperature of 900 °C as depicted in the XRD results. 100% conversion of soybean oil to methyl ester biodiesel was obtained, as confirmed by 1H NMR. A biodiesel yield of 98% was achieved under optimized reaction conditions such as a calcination temperature of 900 °C, a catalyst loading of 3 wt%, a reaction time of 7 h and a methanol to oil ratio of 6 : 1, and biodiesel conversion was confirmed by FT-NMR and IR spectroscopies. A total of 9 fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) were identified in the synthesized biodiesel by the retention time and fragmentation pattern data of GC-MS analysis. The catalyst was recycled 8 times without appreciable loss in its catalytic activity. A high biodiesel yield of 98% was obtained under these optimised conditions. The catalyst has the advantage of being a waste material, therefore it is easily prepared, cost free, highly efficient, biogenic, labor effective and environmentally friendly, making it a potential candidate as a green catalyst for low cost production of biodiesel at an industrial scale.