Zeolite was first discovered by Cronstedt in 1756, according to some geochemists and scientists estimate that zeolite is the result of the condensation of volcanoes into volcanic rock, transformative rock, and sedimentary rock. Zeolites are alumina-silica crystals containing K+ (Potassium), Na+ (Sodium), Ca2+ (calcium), and Mg2+ (Magnesium) cations, while synthetic zeolites usually only contain K+ (calcium), and Na+ (Sodium). ). Zeolite has an active side that is negatively charged which can bind charge balancing cations. Zeolite has a hollow structure or pores, usually, this cavity is widely used as an adsorbent, filter, natural cation exchanger, and used as a catalyst.
First, zeolite has been popular since 1950 until now, Previously zeolite was a green stone and only used as decoration on walls, but as human civilization developed more and more sophisticated, the use of zeolite is also growing in various fields, especially in agriculture, usually the farmers use zeolites to maintain soil moisture, but not only that, there are several benefits of zeolites for agriculture, including:
1. Zeolites can improve soil conditions, ranging from physical, chemical, biological soil conditions, exchange cations in the soil, and improve soil aggregation,- so that the soil pores will increase.
2. The content of micro and macro elements contained in zeolite can increase the nutrient content of plants. because natural zeolite is a type of mineral or compound composed of hydrated silica (SiO2) with sodium (Na), potassium (K), and barium (Ba) cations, while synthetic zeolites usually contain potassium (K+) and sodium (Na+) compounds. has unique properties such as filtering or separating molecules based on molecular size and configuration, easy to modify, reusable, and non-toxic, so it is very good to be used as an adsorbent material as well as a natural exchange material.
3. Zeolites can reduce the solubility of Fe (iron) and Al (aluminum) ions, thereby reducing heavy metal poisoning in plants, this is supported by the unique properties of zeolites such as filters or separating molecules based on molecular size and configuration, easy to modify, can reusable, and non-toxic, so it is very good to be used as an adsorbent material as well as a natural exchange material. So that the zeolite can absorb the content of (Fe) Ferrum which is quite effective.
4. release the nutrients needed by plants regularly and longer, because zeolite has a hollow structure that can absorb the elements needed by plants. For example, in the efficiency of fertilization (N) Nitrogen with the addition of zeolite can absorb the ammonium released by the fertilizer. If the nitrate in the soil decreases, the ammonium that has been absorbed by the zeolite will be released back into the soil. With that, (N) nitrogen that has been given to the soil can be available for a longer time. The comparison is if fertilization (N) nitrogen does not use zeolite, the nitrate will quickly change.
5. Zeolite can be used as a Plant Growing Media as well as being useful for minimizing the loss of fertilizer carried by water, and can eliminate odors. The advantages of zeolite in various fields have been described in the previous article. If you don’t mind check out our full article on the Nusagri blog.
Fuel oil is an important energy source derived from petroleum and is used as fuel in various fields of industry, as well as transportation. the depletion of petroleum reserves, also cannot be renewed, Currently, many people are competing to find alternative energy from petroleum that can be renewed so that its availability can be guaranteed.
Biodiesel is a chemical process in the form of methyl and ester compounds from the esterification and transesterification process of vegetable oils or animal fats or one of the alternative fuels produced from natural and renewable materials, such as palm oil, castor oil, soybean oil, while examples of animal fats include beef fat, lard, and other animal fats. Biodiesel is usually made from the esterification/transesterification process of vegetable oils or animal fats using alcohol, Zeolites here have a role as a catalyst or help speed up chemical reactions. The use of biodiesel has several advantages compared to using diesel oil as follows:
1.) The use of biodiesel is more environmentally friendly when compared to fuel from petroleum because it produces better emissions.
2.) has a higher cetane number (>57) so that the combustion process is better
3.) has lubricating properties against engine pistons
4.) biodiesel can be renewed or produced continuously because the raw material for biodiesel uses renewable vegetable oils or animal fats. 5.) increase to supply of own fuel because it can be produced locally.
Materials that can be used for the manufacture of biodiesel can use compounds contained in pork fat or others in the form of triglycerides, triglycerides when reacted with alcohol will produce esters and glycerol. This process is often called a transesterification reaction. While the esterification reaction is a nucleophilic ion substitution reaction with an acid catalyst. Homogeneous catalysts are catalysts that are soluble in the reactants or reaction products, while heterogeneous catalysts are catalysts that are different from the reactants or products. Heterogeneous catalysts have several advantages compared to homogeneous catalysts, including having high catalytic activity, being more stable during transesterification or esterification, and being is easily separated.
Zeolite is a heterogeneous catalyst and contains cations K+ (Potassium), Na+ (Sodium), Ca2+ (calcium), and Mg2+ (Magnesium) while synthetic zeolite usually only contains K+ (calcium), and Na+ (Sodium). Zeolite has a hollow structure or pores, usually, this cavity is widely used as an adsorbent, filter, natural cation exchanger, and used as a catalyst. The advantages of using clinoptilolite natural zeolite as a catalyst in the manufacture of biodiesel :
1.) clinoptilolite natural zeolite has a solid form and cavity, so zeolite can be very suitable to be used as a catalyst.
2.) able to increase ester purity.
3.) Easier to separate than a liquid catalyst.
the use of zeolites can also streamline the process of acid esterification and base transesterification where the process is carried out using zeolites can be done simultaneously or not separately to save time, energy, and others.
From the explanation above, it can be concluded that the use of zeolite as a catalyst is very helpful in making very practical biodiesel.