The present study presents combined ethanol and rapeseed oil conversion to C4-C12 hydrocarbons via a one-step hydrogen-free catalytic process. As a catalyst an industrial Pd-Zn/Al2O3/MFI sample was used. The novelty of the suggested process resides in the combined conversion of rapeseed oil and ethanol (fermentation mixtures) in an inert atmosphere without external molecular hydrogen that is usually used for vegetable oils conversion. Our previous study showed that ethanol conversion over the Pd-Zn/Al2O3/MFI catalyst led to the formation of a surplus amount of hydrogen (Chistyakov et al., 2013a) that may be used for hydrogenolysis of the C-O bonds of fatty acids triglycerides during the combined conversion.
In this work shown that the combined conversion produced significantly larger amounts of olefins and aromatics in comparison with conversion of pure ethanol. It is also shown that an initial concentration of 25-50 % of ethanol in the feed is optimal for the combined conversion. This amount of alcohol is sufficient to donate enough hydrogen to the system during conversion for a stable and smooth catalyst work while preventing coke formation. Fermentation mixtures and fusel oils were used for the combined conversion with rapeseed oil as well as ethanol.