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Fuel Combustion

Hydrocarbon Fuels From Gas Phase Decarboxylation of Hydrolyzed Free Fatty Acid

[+] Author and Article Information
Wei-Cheng Wang

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,  North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695

William L. Roberts

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,  North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695; Clean Combustion Research Center,  King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

Larry F. Stikeleather

Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering,  North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 27695

J. Energy Resour. Technol 134(3), 032203 (Jun 21, 2012) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006867 History: Received October 15, 2011; Revised May 08, 2012; Published June 21, 2012; Online June 21, 2012

Gas phase decarboxylation of hydrolyzed free fatty acid (FFA) from canola oil has been investigated in two fix-bed reactors by changing reaction parameters such as temperatures, FFA feed rates, and H2 -to-FFA molar ratios. FFA, which contains mostly C18 as well as a few C16 , C20 , C22 , and C24 FFA, was fed into the boiling zone, evaporated, carried by hydrogen flow at the rate of 0.5–20 ml/min, and reacted with the 5% Pd/C catalyst in the reactor. Reactions were conducted atmospherically at 380–450 °C and the products, qualified and quantified through gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC-FID), showed mostly n-heptadecane and a few portion of n-C15 , n-C19 , n-C21 , n-C23 as well as some cracking species. Results showed that FFA conversion increased with increasing reaction temperatures but decreased with increasing FFA feed rates and H2 -to-FFA molar ratios. The reaction rates were found to decrease with higher temperature and increase with higher H2 flow rates. Highly selective heptadecane was achieved by applying higher temperatures and higher H2 -to-FFA molar ratios. From the results, as catalyst loading and FFA feed rate were fixed, an optimal reaction temperature of 415 °C as well as H2 -to-FFA molar ratio of 4.16 were presented. These results provided good basis for studying the kinetics of decarboxylation process.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Gas phase decarboxylation setup

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Figure 2

GC-FID chromatogram of product from gas phase decarboxylation; the reaction was carried out at 400 °C with FFA feeding rate of 0.1 ml/min and H2 flow rate of 20 ml/min (1: Decane, 2: Undecane, 3: Dodecane, 4: Tridecane, 5: Tetradecane, 6: Pentadecane, 7: Hexadecane, 8: Heptadecane, 9: Octadecane, 10: Nonadecane, 11: Heneicosane)

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Figure 3

Conversion versus reaction temperature; the reactions were conducted with 0.1 ml/min FFA feeding rate and 8 ml/min H2 flow rate. The mass of catalyst is 2 g.

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Figure 4

Reaction rate versus reaction temperature; the reactions were conducted with 0.1 ml/min FFA feeding rate and 8 ml/min H2 flow rate. The mass of catalyst is 2 g.

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Figure 5

CO2 and CO concentration at various temperatures; the reactions were conducted with 0.1 ml/min FFA feeding rate and 8 ml/min H2 flow rate. The mass of catalyst is 2 g.

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Figure 6

The concentration of CO2 , CO, and H2 as a function of time; reaction was carried out at 400 °C reaction temperature with 0.1 ml/min of FFA feed rate and 10 ml/min H2 flow rate

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Figure 7

FFA conversion and alkane concentrations as a function of FFA feed rates; reaction was conducted at 400 °C of reaction temperature and 8 ml/min of H2 flow rate

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