Biofuels production from hydrothermal decarboxylation of oleic acid and soybean oil over Ni-based transition metal carbides supported on Al-SBA-15
•Hydrothermal decarboxylation of oleic acid over bimetallic Ni carbide catalysts was studied.•Supercritical conditions promote hydrogenation–decarboxylation reactions of oleic acid.•The catalysts can utilize aqueous phase reforming of glycerol for in situ H2 production.•Adding glycerol increased the conversion of oleic acid and selectivity of heptadecane.•NiWC/Al-SBA-15 exhibited high ability to produce heptadecane from triglycerides.
Several Ni-based transition metal carbide catalysts supported on Al-SBA-15 were studied for the hydrothermal decarboxylation of oleic acid and soybean oil to produce diesel range hydrocarbons with no added H2. The effect of pre-reduction, sub-critical, and super-critical water conditions on the catalyst activity and selectivity was investigated. Both the conversion of oleic acid and selectivity of decarboxylation products under super-critical conditions for each catalyst were about two times greater than at sub-critical conditions. In addition, the potential of these catalysts for utilizing aqueous phase reforming (APR) of glycerol for in situ H2 production to meet process demands was demonstrated. The performance of the catalysts increases with the addition of glycerol, especially for the NiWC/Al-SBA-15 catalyst. With the addition of glycerol, the NiWC/Al-SBA-15 catalyst showed greater conversion of oleic acid and selectivity to heptadecane; however, most of the oleic acid was hydrogenated to produce stearic acid. The highest conversion of oleic acid and selectivity for heptadecane was 97.3% and 5.2%, respectively. Furthermore, the NiWC/Al-SBA-15 catalyst exhibited good potential for hydrolyzing triglycerides (soybean oil) to produce fatty acids and glycerol, and then generating H2in situ from the APR of the glycerol produced. A complete conversion of soybean oil and hydrogenation of produced oleic acid were obtained over the NiWC/Al-SBA-15 at super-critical conditions.
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Journal: Applied Catalysis A: General - Volume 498, 5 June 2015, Pages 32–40