Table of Contents
Journal of Catalysts
Volume 2014, Article ID 213607, 11 pages
Research Article

Optimization Study in Biodiesel Production via Response Surface Methodology Using Dolomite as a Heterogeneous Catalyst

Department of Analytical Chemistry and Physical Chemistry, Federal University of Ceará, 60440-554 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil

Received 24 August 2014; Revised 11 November 2014; Accepted 12 November 2014; Published 30 November 2014

Academic Editor: Vijay Bokade

Copyright © 2014 Regina C. R. Santos 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.


A carbonate mineral, dolomite, was used as a heterogeneous catalyst to produce methyl-esters from soybean oil. The samples were analyzed by XRF, TGA, XRD, TPD-CO2, and SEM. The calcination of dolomite at 800°C/1 h resulted in a highly active mixed metal oxides. In addition, the influence of the reaction variables such as the temperature, catalyst amount, and methanol/soybean oil molar ratio in methyl-ester production was optimized by the application of a central composite design in conjunction with the response surface methodology (RSM). The XRF analysis is carried out after the reuses procedure which shows that the deactivation process is mainly due to the selective calcium leaching. Overall, the calcined dolomite exhibited high catalytic activity at moderate operating conditions for biodiesel production.