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Journal of Nanotechnology
Volume 2015, Article ID 128072, 7 pages
Research Article

Solvent-Free MgO-Functionalized Mesoporous Catalysts for Jatropha Oil Transesterification

1Chemical and Mining Engineering Department, College of Engineering and Technology, University of Dar es Salaam, P.O. Box 35131, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
2School of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Engineering Campus, Seri Ampangan, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
3Chemistry Department, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Dar es Salaam, P.O. Box 35065, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Received 9 January 2015; Accepted 20 May 2015

Academic Editor: E. Goldys

Copyright © 2015 Anamagreth Andrew 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 convenient solvent-free technique was employed in the functionalization of Micelle-Templated Silica using Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (MTS-CNSL) as a template and magnesium nitrate as a precursor salt. Magnesium oxide species was highly dispersed in MTS-CNSL by manually grinding the precursor salt and the as-synthesized mesoporous silica followed by calcination. The resultant modified mesoporous silicas MgO/MTS-CNSL were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR, N2 adsorption/desorption), and scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray (SEM/EDX). MgO/MTS-CNSL (30) having small specific surface area of 16.7 m2/g and larger pore volume of 0.02 cm3/g, presented higher activity of 81.45% for jatropha oil under optimized conditions (200°C, 4 h, 36 : 1 methanol : oil ratio, 500 rpm, and 6% wt of catalyst). This method of catalyst development has an advantage of being highly energy- and time-efficient.