Valorization of Waste Lipids through Hydrothermal Catalytic Conversion to Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels with in Situ Hydrogen Production

Dongwook Kim, Derek R. Vardon, Dheeptha Murali, Brajendra K. Sharma, Timothy J. Strathmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We demonstrate hydrothermal (300°C, 10 MPa) catalytic conversion of real waste lipids (e.g., waste vegetable oil, sewer trap grease) to liquid hydrocarbon fuels without net need for external chemical inputs (e.g., H2 gas, methanol). A supported bimetallic catalyst (Pt-Re/C; 5 wt % of each metal) previously shown to catalyze both aqueous phase reforming of glycerol (a triacylglyceride lipid hydrolysis coproduct) to H2 gas and conversion of oleic and stearic acid, model unsaturated and saturated fatty acids, to linear alkanes was applied to process real waste lipid feedstocks in water. For reactions conducted with an initially inert headspace gas (N2), waste vegetable oil (WVO) was fully converted into linear hydrocarbons (C15-C17) and other hydrolyzed byproducts within 4.5 h, and H2 gas production was observed. Addition of H2 to the initial reactor headspace accelerated conversion, but net H2 production was still observed, in agreement with results obtained for aqueous mixtures containing model fatty acids and glycerol. Conversion to liquid hydrocarbons with net H2 production was also observed for a range of other waste lipid feedstocks (animal fat residuals, sewer trap grease, dry distiller's grain oil, coffee oil residual). These findings demonstrate potential for valorization of waste lipids through conversion to hydrocarbons that are more compatible with current petroleum-based liquid fuels than the biodiesel and biogas products of conventional waste lipid processing technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1775-1784
Number of pages10
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 7 2016

Keywords

  • Aqueous phase reforming
  • Decarbonylation
  • Decarboxylation
  • Deoxygenation
  • Hydrogenation
  • Waste fats and grease
  • Waste-to-energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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