262667 Determination of Triacylglyceride Hydrolysis Kinetics in Soybean Oil and Algal Systems

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Joshua C. Wissinger1, Amber L. Bosley1 and Constance Schall2, (1)Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, (2)Chemical & Environmental Engineering, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

Determination of triacylglyceride hydrolysis kinetics in soybean oil and algal systems

Joshua C. Wissinger, Amber L. Bosley, Constance A. Schall

The third generation of biofuels, algae, is of growing interest as a renewable feedstock due to its high yield of energy per unit area, use of carbon dioxide and other available resources for growth, and minimal competition with the food industry.  Biodiesel and jet fuel can be produced from lipid-rich algae.  However, extracting lipids from algae is complicated due to the high water content of harvested and mechanically dewatered algae (60 to 90% water). Thus, there is a need for processes that convert wet algal biomass into fuels or fuel precursors directly in the aqueous phase.  Such a process alternative is to use the water in the harvested and partially dewatered algae for hydrolysis of triacylglycerides (TAG) to free fatty acids (FFA), forming aqueous and oil rich phases for ease of extraction and separation of the lipid component. TAG processing techniques include refining FFA by catalytic cracking and hydrotreating for jet fuel production, or the UOP/Eni Ecofining™ process to obtain clean green diesel. In our first step, subcritical water is reacted with TAG producing FFA through hydrolysis eliminating the need for expensive and water sensitive catalysts.  In the initial development of an empirical kinetic model, soybean oil, a system much less complex than alga, was used in hydrolysis studies at subcritical water (SCW) conditions. This model was applied to algal TAG hydrolysis. The robustness of our model has been tested by verifying both the autocatalytic behavior of TAG hydrolysis reactions, as well as hydrolysis reactions over a range of temperatures.

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See more of this Session: Poster Session: Sustainability and Sustainable Biorefineries
See more of this Group/Topical: Sustainable Engineering Forum