Sulfur-free Ni supported on H-Y zeolites, γ-Al2O3 and SiO2 synthesized by the wet impregnation method, and Pd/C were tested in hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of stearic acid. The catalysts were forming n-heptadecane except Ni/H-Y-80, which was producing n-heptadecane and n-octadecane. Ni/H-Y 80 and Pd/C were tested on HDO of fatty acid methyl esters from chlorella, tall oil fatty acids, and animal fat. The reactions converting the substrates to the final products followed the path from unsaturated esters to acids, with hydrogenation of the latter into alcohols (i.e., stearyl alcohol), and finally formation of hydrocarbons. Ni/H-Y-80 permitted rapid and complete conversion into hydrocarbons, while Pd/C displayed 5–20 times lower turnover frequency, producing saturated intermediates along with hydrocarbons. The catalyst reusability of Ni supported on Y zeolites was studied by recycling and regenerating the spent catalyst from fatty acid HDO. The catalysts demonstrated the possibility of restoring the rates per unit of surface area after regeneration. Catalysts used in HDO of different feedstocks were investigated by thermogravimetric analysis, inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, surface area measurements, and pore size analysis.
- Chemical Engineering