Table of Contents
ISRN Renewable Energy
Volume 2012, Article ID 142857, 13 pages
Review Article

Tin-Catalyzed Esterification and Transesterification Reactions: A Review

Chemistry Department, Federal University of Viçosa, 36570-000 Viçosa, MG, Brazil

Received 17 April 2012; Accepted 5 September 2012

Academic Editors: B. Chen, K. T. Lee, and Y.-C. Lin

Copyright © 2012 Arthur Batista Ferreira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The recent increase in the world biofuels demand, along with the need to reduce costs while improving the environmental sustainability of the biodiesel production, have led to the search for catalysts that should be economically viable, efficient, and environmentally friendly. This paper reviews recent research and development of organic and inorganic tin catalysts; focusing on kinetic properties and catalytic activity in two key reactions for biodiesel production: free fatty acids (FFA) esterification and triglycerides (TG) transesterification. First the basic knowledge of homogeneous tin catalysts in esterification reactions of different carboxylic acids is provided. Second, main advances obtained in the study of FFA esterification reactions catalyzed by tin chloride are covered. The effect of the principal parameters of reaction on the yield and rate of alkyl esters production is described. Kinetic measurements allowed the determination of the activation energy (46.79 kJ mol−1) and a first-order dependence in relation to both FFA and tin chloride catalyst concentration. Aspects related to recycling of the tin chloride catalyst in phase homogeneous are discussed. Third the advances obtained in the development of homogeneous catalysts based on tin complexes in transesterification reactions are summarized. Finally, results obtained from the use of tin organometallics compounds in reactions of vegetable oils transesterification reactions are concisely presented. The optimization of processes catalytic homogeneous utilized in the transesterification reactions can contribute to the improvement of the technology biodiesel production.