291862 Conversion of Triglycerides and Fatty Acids to Hydrocarbons Using Supported Nickel Catalysts

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Jaime Shoup, Eduardo Santillan-Jimenez, Tonya Morgan and Mark Crocker, Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY


The catalytic upgrading of triglycerides and fatty acids to a viable hydrocarbon fuel source using nickel based catalysts has been investigated. Current methods of upgrading employ expensive palladium and platinum based catalysts, thus the efficiency of nickel-aluminum double layered hydroxides (Ni-Al LDH) was looked at for a feasible alternative. Ni-Al LDH was prepared by co-precipitation and characterized using N2 physisorption, X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, temperature programmed reduction and CO2 temperature programmed desorption. Tests for the catalytic activity in converting tristearin and stearic acid to hydrocarbon fuel using a semi-batch reactor under Ar, 10% H2/N2, and H2 were completed using Ni-Al LDH, Ni/C and Pd/C. Results demonstrate Ni-Al LDH is a comparable catalyst to Pd/C in terms of the conversion and selectivity of fatty acids to hydrocarbon fuel sources. Moreover, preforming the reaction under H2 helps prevent the deposition of coke on the catalytic surface, thereby preserving the function of the given catalyst. Finally, studies have also verified the viability in recycling Ni-Al LDH once the reaction was complete by calcination in air. 

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