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Production of fatty alcohols by heterogeneous catalysis at supercritical single-phase conditions
SIK – Institutet för livsmedel och bioteknik.
2000 (English)In: Studies in Surface Science and Catalysis, ISSN 0167-2991, Vol. 130 A, 539-544 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Fatty alcohols can be produced by catalytic hydrogenation of fatty acid methyl esters. This heterogeneous catalytic reaction, traditionally performed in a multi-phase system, is limited by the mass transport of hydrogen to the catalyst. 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 we have created supercritical single-phase conditions. These single-phase conditions eliminate the transport resistance for hydrogen and create the possibility to control the concentration of all the reactants at the catalyst surface independently of the other process settings. In this way, extremely rapid hydrogenation can be combined with a high product selectivity. In our lab-scale experiments the catalyst activity was studied as a function of hydrogen pressure, substrate concentration and temperature. The catalyst activity was extremely high compared to the multi-phase hydrogenation. Complete conversion of the liquid substrate was reached in a few seconds. The high catalyst activity results in reaction rates which are comparable with similar gas-phase hydrogenation reactions of much smaller molecules (e.g. methylacetate). As long as single-phase conditions remain -in our experiments we have tested up to 15 wt.% substrate- the gas-phase-like activity can be maintained. Our results prove that performing hydrogenation at supercritical single-phase conditions is beneficial for this and other heterogeneous catalytic processes which are limited by mass transfer. © 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 130 A, 539-544 p.
Keyword [en]
Food Engineering
Keyword [sv]
Livsmedelsteknik
National Category
Food Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-9379OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-9379DiVA: diva2:967254
Available from: 2016-09-08 Created: 2016-09-08Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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