Functionalized Carbon Nanofibers as Solid-Acid Catalysts for Transesterification

Authors

  • Dr. Daniel R. Stellwagen,

    1. Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University, Universiteitsweg 99, 3584 CG, Utrecht (The Netherlands)
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  • Frits van der Klis,

    1. Food and Biobased Research, Wageningen UR, Bornse Weilanden 9, 6708 WG, Wageningen (The Netherlands)
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  • Dr. Daan S. van Es,

    1. Food and Biobased Research, Wageningen UR, Bornse Weilanden 9, 6708 WG, Wageningen (The Netherlands)
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  • Prof. Dr. Krijn P. de Jong,

    1. Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University, Universiteitsweg 99, 3584 CG, Utrecht (The Netherlands)
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  • Dr. Johannes H. Bitter

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University, Universiteitsweg 99, 3584 CG, Utrecht (The Netherlands)
    • Department of Inorganic Chemistry and Catalysis, Utrecht University, Universiteitsweg 99, 3584 CG, Utrecht (The Netherlands)

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Abstract

Carbon nanofibers (CNFs) were functionalized with aryl sulfonic acid groups using in situ diazonium coupling. The use of diazonium coupling yielded an acidic carbon material, in which the introduced acidic groups are readily accessible to the triglyceride substrate. The material is an efficient catalyst for the transesterification of triolein and methanol, outperforming conventional sulfonated carbons in both stability and activity per acid site. Upon comparing CNFs with varying degrees of functionalization, a linear correlation between sulfonic acid sites and catalytic performance was found.

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