Potential of Vegetable Oils for Producing Green Diesel Via Hydrocracking Process

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Wiphada Attaphaiboon
Arthit Neramittagapong
Sutasinee Neramittagapong
Somnuk Theerakulpisut

Abstract

The effects of fatty acid components on the yield of alternative diesel produced by hydrocracking of vegetable oils and its properties were studied in this work. Green diesel synthesis via hydrocracking reaction of 4 different raw materials including palm oil (PO), sunflower oil (SFO), soybean oil (SO), and rice bran oil (RBO) was investigated.  Green diesel production was carried out at a constant pressure of 5 MPa and a constant temperature of 450oC in a continuous high-pressure reactor supplied with hydrogen. Feedstocks of vegetable oils were fed to the reactor with a liquid hourly space velocity (LHSV) of 1 h-1 over Pd/TiO2-Al2O3 catalyst. The results revealed that RBO gave the highest liquid product yield of 94%, while PO gave the highest diesel selectivity of 82% due to the high content of saturated (C16:0) and monounsaturated (C18:1) fatty acids. Moreover, the green diesel obtained from each feedstock was analyzed for its properties such as kinematic viscosity, net heat of combustion, and density. It was also found that the physical and thermal properties of the synthetic green diesel obtained from all the feedstocks were comparable with those of the standard diesel, except the net heat of combustion which was higher in the synthetic green diesel. Furthermore, the green diesel produced from this process was less contaminated by by-products as compared with the biodiesel obtained by transesterification reaction.

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