Oligomerization of ethylene and ethanol into fuel through heterogenous catalysis

University essay from Lunds universitet/Kemiteknik (CI)

Abstract: The goal and ambition of this thesis has been to investigate a topic that could lead to a possible solution to the environmental crisis we are witnesses of. Replacement of fossil fuels is an essential step towards a renewable society that needs to be taken. This thesis will investigate one of those possible solutions, production of a biofuel from a renewable source. A large amount of research within the topic of ethylene oligomerization towards fuel hydrocarbons has already been conducted with variating results. During this work two noble metal catalysts were tested in experiments where both ethylene and ethanol were used as raw material in order to perform oligomerization to hydrocarbons used in fuels. The atmospheric pressure experiments that were performed showed that both catalyst are reactive and can upgrade both ethylene and ethanol. However most products were in the range of C8 content, this is still not satisfactory for fuel implementation unless the C8 products are branched. Furthermore, conversion of feedstock was up to 60%. Some conclusions about the correlation between the reaction temperature, product distribution and conversions were drawn and presented in the report. Impact of the ethanol on prevention of coke formation was observed and briefly discussed. This field of study has a lot of potential and there is still a lot to discover. The solution that the whole scientific world is trying to find may be hidden in this kind of process.

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