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Biography

Jeffrey C S Wu received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, USA. Currently, he is serving as Associate Chair of the Chemical Engineering department, National Taiwan University. He is a member of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers. He is author and coauthor of over 100 SCI journal papers, one book chapter and two textbooks of chemical industry and catalysis. He is the Editor of Catalysis Communications, and serves in editorial boards of Applied Catalysis A: General and Chemical Engineering Journal. He received many prestigious awards including Outstanding Cross-Sector Collaboration Award and 2nd National Industrial Innovation in 2012.

Abstract

In this research, we transesterifi cated (1) triglycerides to synthesize biodiesel and; (2) its byproduct glycerol to form a more valuable chemical, glycerol 1,2-carbonate, using layered double hydroxides (LDHs), specifi cally Mg-Al LDH. We studied the diff erent Mg/ Al ratios in catalyst preparation, calcination temperatures of LDH, reaction temperatures, catalyst loadings and the molar ratios of dimethyl carbonate/glycerol, etc., which are critical factors in both transesterifi cation reactions. We had Mg-Al LDH coated on the 3mm spherical α-Al2O3 catalyst in the stirring packed-bed reactor. Mg-Al LDH was fi rst calcined and then rehydrated with
decarbonated water-glycerol solution to reconstruct the layer structure and also to protect the catalyst deactivation by air at the same time. In biodiesel synthesis, the yield reached 65.72% in 4 hours under 60oC, 87.45% in 3 hours under 100oC, when the methanol / soybean oil molar ratio was set to be 30, and 10wt% Mg/Al=5 LDH was used in the reaction. Th e glycerol transesterifi cation was carried out by dimethyl carbonate/glycerol molar ratio 16 with the existence of solvent, dimethyl sulfoxide, using 10wt% Mg/Al=5 LDH on spherical α-Al2O3 at 95oC. Th e yield of glycerol 1,2-carbonate could reach up to 93.4% within 7.5 hours. When applying 10wt% catalyst of Mg/Al=5 LDH on spherical α-Al2O3 into the stirring packed-bed reactor, the yield of glycerol 1,2-carbonate reached to 80.17% within 11 hours under the residence time 22.5 hours, and dimethyl carbonate/glycerol molar ratio = 16 at 90oC.