Hydrodeoxygenation of Microalgae Oil in a Microreactor

Developed by: AIChE
  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Annual Meeting
  • Presentation Date:
    November 7, 2013
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • Skill Level:
    Advanced
  • PDHs:
    0.50

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Removal of residual oxygen from long chain lipids via hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) will produce a liquid fuel comprising mostly straight chain alkanes , which mimics diesel. Green diesel is chemically similar to petroleum-derived diesel , and it can be used in existing internal combustion engines without any modification. Microalgae has been favored as a feedstock for green diesel , on account of its high acylglycerols contents and faster growth rate than terrestrial oil crops. Moreover , HDO , a process that uses high pressure hydrogen to remove oxygen is CO2 neutral. In the present work , sulfided NiMo/Al2O3 catalyst was evaluated for HDO with the aim of converting algae oil to diesel-like hydrocarbons. Microreactor was used due to its advantages compared to conventional reactors. These advantages include: 1) enhanced mass and heat transfer , 2) less energy consumption , 3) faster and cost-saving screening of materials and process , 4) easier scale-up , and 5) improved safety. Changes in the hydrogen consumption and the product composition as a function of operating conditions: reaction temperature , hydrogen partial pressure , residence time were determined quantitatively by GC-TCD and FID. This work will provide baseline data which will guide future work on the HDO of algae oil.

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