(278c) Biojet Production From Hydrocracking of Vegetable Oil

Wang, H., Wayne State University
Kim, M., Wayne State University
Salley, S., Wayne State University

The development of fuels from alternative and renewable sources to replace commercial petroleum products has been a subject of increasing research in recent years. At present, there are few economically feasible processes to produce jet fuel from plant oils and animal fats, especially with non-sulfided catalysts. In our research, bifunctional catalysts, NiMo/HY carbide and nitride catalysts were developed for hydrocracking of vegetable oils to obtain hydrocarbons in the jet fuel range. Around 2 g of the catalyst was loaded in a BTRS flow reactor and the catalysts were then reduced in a hydrogen flow of 30 mL/min at 450 oC for two hours. The reactor pressure was increased up to 650 psi and the reactions were carried out at the temperature range of 360-450 oC. Quartz beads with a size about 200 μm were used to dilute the catalyst bed (1:1 v/v) to improve the mass and heat transfer. This study is the first application of noble metals and transitional metal carbide/nitride on hydrocracking of soybean oil to produce biofuels.  A comparable yield of jet fuel (about 16-20 wt %) was obtained under a much lower pressure (650 psi) compared to about 17wt% kerosene jet yield under 2000 psi over the commercial hydrocracking catalyst. A 20-29 wt% diesel yield was also obtained during the process.  Compared with other catalytic cracking processes with vegetable oils, a more stable continuous flow reaction was obtained by using this process.