Effect of catalytic esterification on the friction and wear performance of bio-oil

Y. Xu, X. Zheng, X. Hu, K.D. Dearn, H. Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
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The tribological response of bio-oil derived from Spirulina algae has been assessed, according to the choice of catalyst during esterification. The bio-oil was upgraded over the selected catalysts of KF/HZSM-5 and KF/AlO with ethanol. Physical and chemical properties were assessed throughout with the crystal structure of the catalysts was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), chemical groups and components of the bio-oil by Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Gas Chromatograph-Mass Spectroscopy (GC-MS). Tribological experiments were conducted using a bespoke piston ring-on-cylinder liner tribometer. Worn surfaces were observed by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), and the elemental contents and valences were tested by X-ray Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). It is shown that choice of catalyst used during the upgrading of the bio-oil has a significant effect on tribological performance. Catalytic esterification improved friction resistance and the anti-wear properties of the bio-oil. KF/AlO was a better catalyst for doing this than KF/HZSM, a result of the ester and organic groups present in the KF/AlO upgraded bio-oil. These groups acted to form a protective tribo-film between surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
Issue number1-2
Early online date8 Jan 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2014


  • Spirulina algae
  • Catalytic esterification
  • Piston ring/cylinder linear
  • Sliding wear
  • Tribochemistry


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