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The Hydrotreatment of an Unsaturated Fatty Acid Vegetable Oil to Hydrocarbons Over Ni/SiO2-Al2O3


Venter, R.J., Schabort, C., Marx, S.


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In this study, sunflower oil was hydrotreated in the presence of a nickel catalyst with the objective to evaluate the effect of reaction parameters on the characteristics of the reaction product. The effect of reaction temperature, reaction time and initial hydrogen pressure on the conversion of the triglyceride feedstock, the naphtha, kerosene and diesel yield and the liquid product yield was investigated. The reaction product during hydroprocessing is influenced by the type of catalyst used, the reaction conditions as well as the nature of the feedstock. Experiments were conducted using a cylindrical bench scale batch reactor with an inside volume of 350 cm3. Reactions were carried out at temperatures of 390C to 420C and initial hydrogen pressures of 5 MPa 11MPa. The effect of using a catalyst versus no catalyst during hydroprocessing was also compared. The gas product was analysed using gas chromatography with FID and TCD detectors while the liquid product was analysed using GC-MS. It was found that temperature and reaction time has a significant effect on the composition of the liquid product. At a temperature of 390C with a reaction time of 30 minutes, the diesel yield was found to be 68% to be reduced to 29.6% at a reaction temperature of 420C with a reaction time of 60 minutes. At more harsh conditions the concentration of lower boiling compounds were found to increase due to the effect of side reactions such as cracking, aromatization and cyclization. It was also found that liquid yield decreased with an increase in reaction temperature due to gas formation. Ni/SiO2-Al2O3 was found to be a promising catalyst for the hydrotreatment of triglyceride-based feedstock due to its relatively low cost and no need for sulfidation. A disadvantage of this catalyst is the formation of methane during the reaction which could have a negative effect on optimal hydrogen consumption.


hydrotreatment, nickel catalyst, renewable diesel, deoxygenation


Biomass Conversion Technologies for Liquid and Gaseous Fuels, Chemicals and Materials


Oil-based biofuels


23rd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition




970 - 973



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