(207b) Catalytic Synthesis of High-Octane Fuels From Biologically-Derived Sources

Blass, S. - Presenter, University of Minnesota
Bhan, A. - Presenter, University of Minnesota
Schmidt, L. - Presenter, University of Minnesota

Autothermal reactors using noble-metal catalysts have been shown to produce α-olefins from higher hydrocarbons such as biodiesel without a need for external heat input or regeneration. We aim to develop a staged autothermal reactor to carry out an additional hydroprocessing reaction and convert α-olefins to saturated branched hydrocarbons. We fabricated a reactor that contained a 0.5 wt % Pt/γ-Al2O3 stage with 10 g of zeolite H-BEA situated downstream of a 2 wt % Rh/α-Al2O3 stage.  Decane was chosen as a surrogate for a higher alkane and was partially oxidized over the Rh stage to form C4+ olefins with an 8% carbon yield and oxidation products H2, CO, CO2, and H2O. The H2 and hydrocarbon products formed in the Rh stage reacted on the downstream bifunctional zeolite stage and the C4+ yield increased to 19%. This process also enhanced the percentage of branched isomers in the product distribution. The increase in yield of C4+ products and the presence of branchedisomers indicates the feasibility of integrating a hydroprocessing catalyst with a partial oxidation catalyst in a single-pipe autothermal reactor.