Paper Title
Palm frond and spikelet as environmentally benign alternative solid acid catalysts for Biodiesel production

Carbonization–sulfonation method was used in synthesizing sulfonated mesoporous catalysts from palm tree biomass. BET, XRD, EDX and FE-SEM analyses elucidated the structural and textural properties of the catalysts. Further, FT-IR and titrimetric analyses measured the strong acid value and acidity distribution of the materials. Results obtained from these analyses indicated large mesopore volume, surface area, uniform pore size and high acid density on the catalysts. The catalytic activity exhibited by esterifying used frying oil containing high (48%) free fatty acids (FFAs) corroborated these properties. All catalysts exhibited high activity with sPTS/400 converting more than 98.15% FFA into FAMEs. The catalyst exhibited the highest acid density of 1.2974 mmol/g from NaOH titration. This is outstanding considering the lower reaction parameter of 5 h, 5:1 methanol-to-oil ratio and moderate temperature range between 100 and 200 °C. The study further illustrates prospects of converting wastes into highly efficient, benign and recyclable solid acid catalysts. Keywords- Biomass, Esterification, High Free Fatty Acid, Mesoporous Carbon Sulfonation, Solid Acid Catalyst.