Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry

, Volume 119, Issue 2, pp 1023–1036 | Cite as

Adsorption microcalorimetry characterization of K-doped MgAl mixed oxide catalysts for soybean oil transesterification synthesized by impregnation and ball milling techniques

  • D. Meloni
  • R. Monaci
  • M. G. Cutrufello
  • E. Rombi
  • I. Ferino


Layered double hydroxides were prepared by pH-controlled co-precipitation method with a Mg/Al molar ratio between 1.5 and 4.0 and used as precursors for obtaining, through calcination, a series of MgAl mixed oxides, which were used as catalysts for soybean oil transesterification with methanol. The mixed oxide with the highest Mg/Al ratio was doped with potassium for obtaining highly basic catalysts. Three different potassium salts (K2CO3, KNO3, CH3COOK) were used for loading potassium on the support (K loading ca. 3 mass%) by two different techniques, namely conventional incipient wetness impregnation and innovative mechanical milling. All the catalysts were characterized as to their chemical composition, structure and texture by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and N2 physisorption, respectively. Their basic and acid features were assessed by adsorption microcalorimetry, using CO2 and NH3 as probe molecules, respectively. Catalytic testing was carried out in a slurry batch reactor operated at 343 K and atmospheric pressure. The occurrence of potassium leaching into the liquid phase was checked for the K-doped catalysts. The initial activity of the heterogeneous catalysts was interpreted in terms of surface basicity, by taking into account a possible role of acidity in determining the mechanism.


Soybean oil Transesterification K-doped MgAl mixed oxides Acidity and basicity Microcalorimetry Leaching 



Thanks are due to Dr Carla Cannas for TEM images.

Supplementary material

10973_2014_4283_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (123 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 123 kb)


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Meloni
    • 1
  • R. Monaci
    • 1
  • M. G. Cutrufello
    • 1
  • E. Rombi
    • 1
  • I. Ferino
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche e GeologicheUniversità di CagliariMonserratoItaly

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