In this study, the transesterification of palm oil with methanol for biodiesel production was studied by using CaO–ZnO as a heterogeneous base catalyst prepared by incipient-wetness impregnation (IWI) and co-precipitation (CP) methods. The reaction parameters considered were molar ratio of methanol to oil, amount of catalyst, reaction temperature, and reaction time. The optimum conditions–15:1 molar ratio of methanol to oil, a catalyst amount of 6 wt%, reaction temperature of 60 °C, and reaction time of 8 h–were observed. The effects of Ca loading, calcination temperature, and catalyst preparation on the catalytic performance were studied. The fresh and spent catalysts were characterized by several techniques, including XRD, TPR, and XRF.
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