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Type: Theses
Title: Catalytic hydro-cracking of bio-oil to bio-fuel
Author: Forghani, Amir Ahmad
Issue Date: 2014
School/Discipline: School of Chemical Engineering
Abstract: Over the last hundred years, the fossil fuels consumption is increasing dramatically and this lead to a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions, the depletion of natural reserves of fossil fuels and increase the fuel production cost. Consequently, renewable and sustainable fuel sources such as bio-oil are receiving increased attention. In bio-based oil such as micro-algae oil, triglycerides and fatty acids are sustainable resources with high energy densities that can be converted into liquid hydrocarbon fuels, efficiently. One of the efficient ways for bio-oil conversion to applicable fuels is hydro-cracking. Hydro-cracking with acidic catalysts is a single step and energy efficient process for bio-oil upgrading towards bio-fuels. Zeolitic structures such as ZSM-5 and beta-zeolite are prevalent acidic catalysts in hydro-treating processes due to their strong acidity, their crystalline porous structure and their high hydrothermal stability. The aim of this research is checking the feasibility of hydro-cracking synthesis towards the light (LC) and middle (MC) range of hydrocarbons over the zeolite based catalysts. Two different types of zeolite catalysts, ZSM-5 and beta-zeolite, were chosen and they were impregnated with Ni (NO₃)₂.6H₂O and calcined at 500 °C. The prepared catalysts were tested with oleic acid which is the main component of plant-derived oil. The catalysts were injected in a lab-scale trickle bed reactor in certain operating conditions. The oleic acid conversion over beta-zeolite was greater than ZSM-5 due to higher pore size distribution and acidity of beta-zeolite compared with ZSM-5. Also the reaction rate constant and Arrhenius equations for beta-zeolite and ZSM-5 were identified. The second step of this research is investigating the hydro-cracking performance with performing a mathematical modelling. The model predictions showed reasonable correlation with experimental data and conversion rates. The total conversion for the hydrocracking reactor model was 82.54 % for 4 major classes of hydrocarbons (light [LC], middle [MC], heavy [HC] and oligomerised [OC]). In addition, the concentration distribution and temperature profile along the reactor were investigated. At the end, a comprehensive sensitivity analysis was performed to analyse the hydro-cracking reactor performance.
Advisor: Lewis, David Milton
Pendleton, Phillip
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) (Research by Publication) -- University of Adelaide,School of Chemical Engineering, 2015.
Keywords: catalytic cracking
Zeolitic catalyst
bio-oil conversion
bio-fuel production
Research by Publication
Provenance: Copyright material removed from digital thesis. See print copy in University of Adelaide Library for full text.
This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
DOI: 10.4225/55/5925376611643
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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