Catalytic Reforming, Hydrogenation, and Decarboxylation of Unsaturated Fatty Acid Esters over Non-noble Metal Catalyst

Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil or animal fat based diesel fuel consisting of saturated and unsaturated long-chain alkyl esters. Low value biodiesel has been developed on a commercial scale, however the application is limited. The conversion of biodiesel to high value C8-16 n-alkanes currently uses metal catalysts (Pt/C), which is an expensive technique. Designing and preparing non-noble catalysts, such as Ni and Fe based catalysts, is important
for the commercialization of biodiesel carboxylation technology. The purpose of this project is to develop a catalyst that will catalyze the process of reforming, hydrogenation, and decarboxylation for the conversion of unsaturated fatty acid esters to n-alkanes found in aviation fuel.

Faculty Supervisor:

Jesse Zhu


Jamie Leidl



Engineering - chemical / biological



Western University



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