Biotechnologie, Énergie, Environnement, Sciences et génie, Technologies disponibles, Technologies propres, Transport écologique (vert)


Maintien d’un excellent taux de conversion (97.6%) pour au moins 5 cycles

-Description en anglais seulement-

Biodiesel market: opportunity/challenges

  • Biodiesel is one of the most promising alternatives to nonrenewable fossil fuels
  • Global biodiesel market to reach $41 billion in 2021
  • 80% of biodiesel produced from vegetable oils in 2015
  • Current industrial catalyst = strong base (NaOH or KOH)
Scheme of transesterification reaction for biodiesel production

Many challenges:

  • Saponification
  • Tedious and costly purification process
  • No catalyst regeneration
  • Unsustainable practices

Carbon dots : a green catalyst alternative

Carbon dots (CDs)

  • < 10 nm carbon nanoparticles
  • Low cost and eco-friendly synthesis
  • Strong and tunable fluorescence emission properties
  • Applications: imaging, drug delivery, microfluidics, LED, sensing, several catalytic applications


  • CDs synthetized from glycin and citric acid
  • Composed of C, O, H and N atoms
  • One-step hydrothermal reaction
  • Surface functional groups tuned for optimal physico-chemical properties

With 1 wt% GlyCDs catalyst loading at 150°C, low oil:methanol ratio (1:18) and short transesterification reaction time (3h), this system is a promising candidate for biodiesel production from vegetable oil in comparison to other heterogeneously catalyzed systems

Optimization of reaction parameters for transesterification using GlyCDs as catalyst

Competitive advantages of GlyCDs

  • Metal-free composition
  • High thermal stability
  • Low catalyst load (1 wt%)
  • Low cost
  • No metal leaching
  • No saponification
  • Easy purification
  • Increased durability of industrial equipment
  • Reusable in multiple catalysis cycles

Licensing opportunity

  • A technology developed by Dr. Rafik Naccache at Concordia University
  • US patent application 62,849,576


If you are interested by this technology, please contact :

Catherine Gagnon, Senior Director, Investments, (514) 924-9003


Concordia University

Main inventor

Photo Rafik Naccache

Dr. Rafik Naccache, Assistant professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Rafik Naccache obtained his PhD in Chemistry at Concordia University in Quebec, Canada, where he was the recipient of the Concordia University Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Prize and the Governor General Gold Medal in the area of Technology, Industry, and the Environment. He subsequently carried out his NSERC postdoctoral training in nanobiophotonics at l’Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (Centre Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications). In December 2015, he accepted a tenure track faculty position as a strategic hire in nanomedicinal chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, at Concordia University. He is currently a Petro-Canada Young Innovator and a Concordia University Research Fellow. His group’s research program focuses on the study of the fundamental properties of fluorescent carbon nanomaterials and hybrid nanosystems for the development of sensing, imaging and catalysis applications.

External links