Studying the Influence of Alumina Catalysts Doped with Tin and Zinc Oxides in the Soybean Oil Pyrolysis Reaction
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The pyrolysis of vegetable oils consists of cracking triglycerides to produce smaller molecules. A mixture of hydrocarbons and oxygenated compounds, such as carboxylic acids and aldehydes, is obtained as the product and which can be separated by fractional distillation. When the reaction is carried out in the absence of catalysts (thermal cracking), a great quantity of these oxygenated compounds is obtained. Thus, the presence of those oxygenated compounds in the products results in a high level of acidity, which can be a problem when using them as fuels in combustion engines. The aim of this work was to study the composition of the products obtained by cracking of vegetable oils assisted by γ-alumina doped with zinc and tin oxides. The products were analyzed by FT-IR, GC-MS and GC-FID and the acid number was determined by titration with alcoholic KOH solution. The acid number, infrared spectra and chromatograms of the resulting hydrocarbon mixtures indicated a significant reduction in oxygenated compounds when compared with the mixtures obtained by the thermal cracking process, thus decreasing the acidity of the mixture.
KeywordsCracking Catalysts Alternative fuels Vegetable oils Alumina Tin Zinc
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