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Hydrogenation of oleochemicals at supercritical single-phase conditions: Influence of hydrogen and substrate concentrations on the process
SIK – Institutet för livsmedel och bioteknik.
2001 (English)In: Applied Catalysis A: General, ISSN 0926-860X, E-ISSN 1873-3875, Vol. 210, no 42006, p. 207-215Article in journal (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Fatty alcohols can be produced by catalytic hydrogenation of fatty acid methyl esters. This heterogeneous catalytic reaction is normally performed in a multi-phase system. In such a system, with a low hydrogen solubility in the liquid substrate and a large mass transport resistance, the hydrogen concentration at the catalyst is low and limits the reaction rate. To overcome this limitation, we have used the unique properties of supercritical fluids, properties which are in between those of liquids and gases, making them a very suitable medium for reactions. By adding propane to the reaction mixture of hydrogen and fatty acid methyl esters (C18) we have created supercritical single-phase conditions. At these single-phase conditions the concentrations of all the reactants at the catalyst surface can be controlled, and an excess of hydrogen becomes possible. In this way, extremely rapid hydrogenation can be combined with a high product selectivity. In our lab-scale experiments the catalyst performance was studied as a function of hydrogen concentration, substrate concentration and temperature. Complete conversion of the liquid substrate was reached in a few seconds. As long as single-phase conditions remain, we have, in our experiments, tested up to 15 wt.% substrate, vapor-phase like reaction rates can be maintained. However, at these high substrate concentrations, mass transport becomes important again. Our results show that performing hydrogenation at supercritical single-phase conditions has a large potential for this and other catalytic processes where the hydrogen concentration at the catalyst is the limiting factor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 210, no 42006, p. 207-215
Keywords [en]
Food Engineering
Keywords [sv]
Livsmedelsteknik
National Category
Food Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-8365DOI: 10.1016/S0926-860X(00)00826-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-8365DiVA, id: diva2:966236
Available from: 2016-09-08 Created: 2016-09-08 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved

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