TitlePerformances and kinetic studies of hydrotreating of bio-oils in microreactor
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsAttanatho, L
UniversityOregon State University
CityCorvallis, Or.
Thesis TypeDissertation

Hydrotreating reaction of vegetable oil is an alternative method for the production of renewable biodiesel fuel. This reaction involves conversion of triglycerides into normal alkanes, leads to a deoxygenated and stable product, which is fully compatible with petroleum derived diesel fuel. The hydrotreating process uses hydrogen to remove oxygen from triglyceride molecules at elevated temperature in the presence of a solid catalyst. This work focused on the development of microtechnology-based chemical reaction process for liquid biofuel production from oil-based biofuel feedstock. A hydrotreating reaction of oleic acid and triolein as model compounds and jatropha oil as real feedstock was studied in a continuous flow microchannel reactor of inner diameter 500 [micro]m and of varied length; 1.5 - 5 m. The microchannel reactor was fabricated from SS-316. The walls of the microreactor were coated with a thin Al2O3 film, which was then impregnated with Ni-Mo catalyst containing phosphorus as promoter. The reactions were carried out in the temperature range of 275-325 °C, residence time in the range of 11-40 s and at constant system pressure of 500 psig. The results showed that the microchannel reactor was suitable for the hydrotreating process. Complete conversion of the fatty acid hydrotreating reaction was achieved at a reaction temperature of 325 °C. Hydrotreating of fatty acids occurred primarily via hydrodeoxygenation and the main liquid products were octadecane and heptadecane. Fatty alcohol, fatty acid and long chain esters were formed as reaction intermediates. Hydrotreating of triglycerides proceeded via the hydrocracking of triglycerides into diglycerides, monoglycerides and fatty acids. Then fatty acids were subsequently deoxygenated to hydrocarbons. The conversion of fatty acids and triglycerides increased with increasing temperatures. A detailed mathematical model was developed to represent this two-phase chemical reaction process. The mathematical model was entirely based on first principles, i.e. no adjustable or correlation parameters were used. Kinetic parameter estimation was performed and the predicted results were in good agreement with experimental results.