Intensification of Biobased Processes
CHAPTER 9: Process Intensification for Hydroprocessing of Vegetable Oil
Published:18 Jun 2018
Hydroprocessing of vegetable oils can be effectively done in microchannel reactors using hydroprocessing catalyst coatings. Hydroprocessing catalysts, Ni–Mo/Al2O3 and Ni–Mo/SiO2–Al2O3, during processing of vegetable oil in a microchannel reactor effectively produced more oligomerized (>C18) and heavy (C15–C18) hydrocarbon products (>95% yield). The naphtha (<C9) and kerosene (C9–C14) yields were <5% in the microchannel reactor. In comparison, <1% oligomerized products were produced in a fixed-bed reactor over both catalysts. Simulated computational fluid dynamics for triglyceride hydroprocessing suggests a uniform concentration and temperature profile inside the microchannel. Most of the triglyceride conversion (>99%) is in the first 50% volume of the microchannel plate. The simulation results indicate better heat and mass transfer inside the microchannel reactor whereas a non-uniform, thermal runaway heat and concentration profile was observed in the fixed-bed reactor, which favors secondary cracking reactions.