A new economical and efficient catalyst for upgrading renewable feedstocks to green diesel has been created. Green diesel, produced by converting renewable feedstocks like vegetable oil, animal fats, and algae, has a chemical composition very similar to that of petroleum-based diesel, but burns cleaner. Researchers investigated the detailed reaction pathways that enable the conversion. They synthesized iron nanoparticles supported on mesoporous silica nanomaterials. The use of iron is a cost-efficient alternative to more expensive metals. The iron catalyst encourages the removal of oxygen from bio-oil compounds in a complex process known as hydrodeoxygenation. Cheap and efficient catalysts for transforming renewable feedstocks to green diesel are vital for creating commercially-competitive alternative fuels.
Supported iron nanoparticles for the hydrodeoxygenation of microalgal oil to green diesel