Process Development for Ethanol and Isobutanol to Jet Fuels
Maoqi Feng, Cary Wong, Jimell Erwin and Darius Daruwalla, Chemical Engineering Dept., Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX 78238.
Jet fuels production from renewable ethanol and isobutanol will significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes and help the aviation industry less addict to fossil fuels. In this study, ethanol and isobutanol were converted to jet fuel boiling range hydrocarbons in a fixed-bed catalytic reactor. Figure 1 shows the block flow diagram. Three catalysts were evaluated, ZSM-5, MgO/alumina, and a large pore size zeolite, at three reaction temperatures: 300, 350, and 400°C. The per pass conversion yields were between 40-80%. Isobutanol gave higher conversion than ethanol. ZSM-5 had higher selectivity for aromatics such as mesitylenes, xylenes, and toluene. Catalyst lifetime study is still in progress.
Figure 1. The Block Flow Diagram for the Alcohols to Jet Fuels Process
See more of this Group/Topical: Fuels and Petrochemicals Division - See Also Topicals 4, 6, and 7