Catalytic reaction pathways in liquid-phase deoxygenation of C18 free fatty acids
The liquid-phase deoxygenation of stearic, oleic, and linoleic acids employing a 5 wt% Pd/C catalyst was investigated using on-line quadrupole mass spectrometry (QMS). Catalytic deoxygenation of stearic acid (SA) under He occurs primarily via decarboxylation; the liquid products are n-heptadecane and heptadecenes. On-line QMS revealed concomitant CO2 and H2 evolution which can explain the greater than expected heptadecene yields at low to intermediate conversions. After essentially complete SA conversion, hydrogenation of heptadecenes via hydrogen transfer from the dodecane solvent results in 98% n-heptadecane yield. The initial rate of SA decarboxylation under 10% H2 is lower than under He; however, by avoiding the formation of unsaturated products the reaction requires much less time to reach completion. The SA decarboxylation rate under 10% H2 is 6-fold slower in heptadecane than in dodecane. This apparent solvent effect is explained by the lower vapor pressure of heptadecane resulting in greater H2 inhibition of the decarboxylation reaction. Our results demonstrate that the unsaturated C18 free fatty acids, oleic and linoleic, must be hydrogenated to SA before decarboxylation can proceed at a significant rate. Oleic acid (OA) deoxygenation under He occurs very slowly and primarily via decarbonylation. In contrast, OA deoxygenation under 10% H2 occurs facilely via hydrogenation to SA followed by decarboxylation. Since hydrogenation is complete during heating to reaction temperature, the decarboxylation kinetics and product yields are not affected by the initial unsaturation of the reactant.
Graphical abstractDeoxygenation of stearic acid (SA) under He employing a 5% Pd/C catalyst occurs via decarboxylation to n-heptadecane and heptadecenes with concomitant CO2 and H2 evolution. Although the initial decarboxylation rate is lower, SA deoxygenation goes to completion more rapidly under 10% H2. Oleic acid deoxygenation under He is very slow; however, under 10% H2 deoxygenation occurs readily via sequential hydrogenation and decarboxylation.Figure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload high-quality image (38 K)Download as PowerPoint slide
Journal: Applied Catalysis A: General - Volume 375, Issue 1, 26 February 2010, Pages 134–139