Table of Contents
Journal of Catalysts
Volume 2014, Article ID 326575, 6 pages
Research Article

Environmentally Benign Neem Biodiesel Synthesis Using Nano-Zn-Mg-Al Hydrotalcite as Solid Base Catalysts

Department of Chemistry, Government Arts College (Autonomous), Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu 612001, India

Received 5 December 2013; Revised 30 June 2014; Accepted 20 July 2014; Published 21 August 2014

Academic Editor: Vivek Srivastava

Copyright © 2014 Karthikeyan Chelladurai and Manivannan Rajamanickam. 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.


Hydrotalcite, also known as aluminum-magnesium layered double hydroxide (LDH) or anionic clay, is a synthetic compound that was broadly investigated in the past decade due to its many potential applications. In this work, we present an environmentally benign process for the transesterification (methanolysis) of neem oil to fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) using Zn-Mg-Al hydrotalcites as solid base catalysts in a heterogeneous manner. The catalysts were characterized by XRD, FT-IR, TPD-CO2, and the BET surface area analysis. It is well-known that the catalytic performance of hydrotalcite is dramatically increased through the incorporation of Zn into the surface of Mg-Al hydrotalcite material. The optimized parameters, 10 : 1 methanol/oil molar ratio with 7.5 g catalysts reacted under stirring speed 450 rpm at 65°C for 4 h reaction, gave a maximum ester conversion of 90.5% for the sample with Zn-Mg-Al ratio of 3 : 3 : 1.