Production of bio-hydrocarbons by hydrotreating of pomace oil

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Olive pomace oil is a by-product from the olive oil industry that is still being used in the food industry as a low value vegetable oil. Crude olive pomace oil needs to be refined and is blended with virgin olive oils before being used as edible oil. The detection of toxic compounds led to more restricted legislation and to the search of alternative valorisation processes, such as hydrotreating to obtain bio-hydrocarbons. Hydrotreating of olive pomace oil at moderate temperatures (from 300 to 430 °C) and in presence of initial hydrogen pressure of 1.1 MPa led to triglycerides destruction and to their conversion into a large range of organic compounds with predominance to hydrocarbons. Even without any catalyst, conversions into hydrocarbons were always higher than 90% (v/v). Catalyst presence, such as: CoMo/Al2O3, FCC (fluid catalytic cracking) or HZSM-5 changed hydrogenated liquids composition. The highest content of alkanes was obtained with CoMo catalyst, while FCC and HZSM-5 led to the highest contents of aromatic compounds. The results obtained showed that olive pomace oil can be efficiently converted into bio-hydrocarbons with a wide range of applications. It was also studied the effect of pyrolysing olive pomace oil prior to its hydrotreating. Pyrolysis pre-treatment seems to have favoured hydrotreating process by promoting initial cracking reactions. Thus, it was possible to increase the production of liquid compounds with a higher content of light molecules. However, the advantages of using a more complex two steps process still need to be proven.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)84-93
Issue numberNA
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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