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Sandro L. Barbosa

David Lee Nelson

Alexandre P. Wentz

Daniel A. Bortoleto

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Red mud (RM) is composed of a waste alkaline solution (pH = 13.3) obtained from the production of alumina. It contains high concentrations of hematite (Fe2O3), goethite (FeOOH), gibbsite [Al(OH)3], a boehmite (AlOOH), anatase (Tetragonal–TiO2), rutile (Ditetragonal dipyramidal–TiO2), hydrogarnets [Ca3Al2(SiO4)3-x(OH)4x], quartz (SiO2), and perovskite (CaTiO3). It was shown to be an excellent catalytic mixture for biodiesel production. To demonstrate the value of RM, an environmentally friendly process of transesterification in aqueous medium using waste cooking oil (WCO), MeOH, and waste alkaline solution (WAS) obtained from aluminum production was proposed. Triglycerides of WCO reacted with MeOH at 60C to yield mixtures of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) in the presence of 0.019% (w/w) WAS/WCO using the WAS (0.204 mol L−1, predetermined by potentiometric titration) from aluminum production by the Bayer process. The use of the new catalyst (WAS) resulted in a high yield of the products (greater than 99% yield).

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