472620 Renewable N-Containing Chemicals Production By Ammonization of Biomass Derived Lipid over Heterogeneous Catalyst

Thursday, November 17, 2016: 8:30 AM
Union Square 19 & 20 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Yaser Shirazi, Sridhar Viamajala and Sasidhar Varanasi, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

N-containing chemicals are widely used in the pharmaceutical and polymer industries. Nitrilation of fatty acids by direct reaction with ammonia is mostly carried out in a batch reactor, in which the acid reactant is in liquid phase and the nitrile remains in the reactor. The process needs a few hours of reaction at high temperature, during which undesirable side reactions are likely to occur, especially with the unsaturated fatty acids (e.g. oleic acid). Alternatively, ammonization of fatty acid can be carried out in vapor phase and at a significantly shorter residence time to decrease the side reactions and improve the nitrile yield.

We are investigating the reaction of fatty acids with ammonia in the vapor phase and presence of a heterogeneous solid catalyst bed. The feed is continuously introduced into the reactor through an atomizer. Our previous work has shown that this approach allows the introduction of micron-sized droplets of feed that are rapidly vaporized inside the reactor. The fatty acid vapors can then easily react with NH3 in the presence of metal oxide catalysts to produce fatty amide as intermediate products. Subsequently, the fatty amide dehydrates and produces fatty nitrile. We will present the effect of reaction temperature, vapor residence time and catalyst on conversion, yield and selectivity of nitriles formation.

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