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Catalytic Cracking of Soybean Oil for Biofuel over γ-Al2O3/CaO Composite Catalyst

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posted on 06.02.2019 by Zhi Zheng, Tong Lei, Jun Wang, Yi Wei, Xuejun Liu, Fengwen Yu, Jianbing Ji

In this paper, we report the catalytic cracking of soybean oil for biofuel over γ-Al2O3/CaO composite catalysts. The influence of catalysts, cracking temperature and weight hourly space velocity (WHSV) on the products distribution were investigated. The maximum yield (70.0 wt.%) of biofuel with low acid value (6.7 mg KOH g-1) and oxygen content (5.6%), as well as high calorific value (44.2 MJ kg-1) was achieved over 35 wt.% γ-Al2O3/CaO at 480 ºC and 3.72 h-1. The paper focused on the variation of biofuel composition and cracking pathway caused by γ-Al2O3/CaO composite catalysts via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and thermogravimetric (TG) analysis. Calcium oxide would react with fatty acid to yield calcium carboxylates at 300-350 ºC, which were subsequently decomposed into hydrocarbons (57.9 wt.%) and ketones (22.6 wt.%) at 415-510 ºC. As for 35 wt.% γ-Al2O3/CaO, the addition of γ-Al2O3 was beneficial to generate alkenes (38.2 wt.%), arenes (10.6 wt.%) and alcohols (12.3 wt.%) with ketones decreasing (16.5 wt.%) via γ-hydrogen transfer reaction and disproportination.

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