Transesterificación de aceites vegetales empleando catalizadores heterogéneos

Grey C. Castellar Ortega
Edgardo R. Angulo Mercado
Beatriz M. Cardozo Arrieta


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15665/rp.v12i2.293

Resumen


El progresivo aumento en los precios del petróleo y el agotamiento de sus reservas ha motivado a la sociedad
científica a pensar en combustibles alternativos y renovables como el biodiesel. La producción de biodiesel se
lleva a cabo principalmente por transesterificación de triacilglicéridos (aceites vegetales y grasas animales) y un
alcohol liviano en presencia de catalizadores. Los catalizadores homogéneos tipo hidróxidos de sodio o de potasio
son típicamente los más empleados en la producción de biodiesel; desafortunadamente problemas asociados
principalmente con el aumento de costos debido a la implementación de etapas de separación y el tratamiento
posterior de aguas residuales, ha enfocado la atención de los investigadores hacia el empleo de catalizadores heterogéneos.
Este artículo presenta una revisión sobre tres tipos de catalizadores heterogéneos, los óxidos de metales
alcalinotérreos, las zeolitas y los heteropoliácidos, empleados en reacciones de transestrificación de aceites para
la obtención de biodiesel. En términos generales, estos catalizadores han demostrado ser eficientes, selectivos, fáciles
de separar, reutilizables y algunos más que otros, tolerables a la presencia de agua y de ácidos grasos libres.


Palabras clave


Biodiesel; Transesterificación; Triacilglicéridos; Catálisis; Sitio activo.

Texto completo:

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