264231 Production of Hydrocarbons by Catalytic Dehydration of Bio-Butanol (mixture of 1-butanol, acetone, and ethanol)

Thursday, November 1, 2012: 1:10 PM
322 (Convention Center )
Shaima Nahreen and Ram B. Gupta, Chemical Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL

Drop-in transportation fuel can be produced by dehydration of bio-butanol to produce alkenes followed by oligomerization to produce liquids. Bio-butanol, which contains n-butanol (63 wt%), acetone (29 wt%) and ethanol (8 wt%), can be produced by using Clostridia bacteria which can effectively utilize both C5 and C6 sugars from multiple lignocellulosic feedstocks.  In this work the catalytic dehydration reactions of bio-butanol mixture is studied in a continuous packed bed tubular reactor.  The product streams (gas, aqueous liquid, and organic liquid) are analyzed and compared with those from the individual components. Two catalysts, γ-Al2O3 and ZSM-5, are tested for their effectiveness at different temperatures.  The products from the bio-butanol mixture feed are mostly unsaturated hydrocarbons in the range of C2-C15. The difference in the higher heating values (HHV) of the liquid products and infrared spectra of the gas products indicate that the products from the bio-butanol feed are different from the products from the individual feed components.  This difference is attributed to the synergistic inter-component reactivity during the dehydration reactions.  HHV of the liquid product increases with the residence time. A better conversion of bio-butanol in terms of liquid product quality and HHV was found in dehydration on γ-Al2O3 catalyst than on ZSM-5, when all other parameters (i.e., temperature and residence time) are kept constant.  Composition analyses and yield data are obtained in this study for rationale understanding of the dehydration step.

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