Thermal Decarboxylation of Coconut Fatty Acid Distillate to Hydrocarbons using Calcium Carbonate Catalyst at Ambient Pressure

Author : dela Cruz, Reyson Dave Gloriani
Major Adviser : Santiago, Denise Ester O.
Committee Members : Dizon, Lisa Stephanie H.; Guerrero, Gino Apollo M.; Bambase, Manolito E. Jr.; Demafelis, Rex B.
Year : 2014
Month : April
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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Coconut Fatty Acid Distillate (CFAD) was decarboxylized forming hydrocarbons using calcium carbonate (CaCO₃) catalyst as a potential route for biojet fuel production at ambient pressure. Though experimental results did not reflect high conversions of fatty acids to alkane in the first hour of reaction (10.09%), it was established that CaCO₃ hastens decarboxylation. Furthermore, it was found out that there was a selective decrease in fatty acids with corresponding stoichiometric increase in hydrocarbon accompanied by high carbon dioxide liberation using the said mineral catalyst at mild reaction conditions. This indicated the dominance of decarboxylation reaction over other parallel reaction paths. Addition of both catalyst and solvent significantly increased the amount of hydrocarbon generated. Hence, the best suspension setup was catalyzed and solvented system due to good facilitation of mass transfer activity. Parametric study revealed that conversion can be further increased when the conditions were set at high levels of temperature (200°C) and catalyst loading (1:5 w/w CaCO₃-to-CFAD) and low level of amount of solvent added (4:1 CFAD-to-solvent). The two factors that were found to be most influential were amount of solvent and temperature that almost masked the effects of all other factors considered in the study.

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