(186h) Hydroprocessing of Vegetable Oil

Sari, E., Wayne State University
DiMaggio, C., Wayne State University
Kim, M., Wayne State University
Salley, S. O., Wayne State University
Ng, K. S., Wayne State University

The increase in energy demand due to the growth of world's population results in more researches for alternative energy. One of the ways to solve this energy problem is improvement of catalytic processes in production of biofuels. Generally there are two ways in diesel fuel like biofuel production from vegetable oils and animal fats. First one is transesterification which gives biodiesel as a product from processing of vegetable oil with methanol or ethanol using either an acid or base catalyst. Second one is hydrogenation which gives green diesel prepared via the catalytic processing of hydrogen with vegetable oils or animal fats. Researches in the production of biofuels are commonly focused on transesterification reaction rather than hydrogenation. The goal of this study is to design a stable catalyst that converts vegetable oil selectively to biofuel product with low hydrogen consumption. With this purpose, the production of green diesel through hydrogenation of soybean oil with Al2O3 supported Ni-Mo catalyst has been studied in a high pressure flow reactor under the reaction conditions 1000 psi pressure and various temperatures. While the gaseous products were analyzed by a gas chromatography, the liquid products were analyzed by GC-MS. As products C-17, C18, water and hydrogen rich gas were seen. Both hydrogenation and hydrodecarboxylation of fatty acids play role in formation of hydrocarbons and the extents of these reactions depend on the catalyst, reaction conditions.