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Catalysts 2019, 9(3), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9030210

Developing Nickel–Zirconia Co-Precipitated Catalysts for Production of Green Diesel

1
Department of Chemistry, University of Patras, GR-26504 Patras, Greece
2
Foundation for Research and Technology, Institute of Chemical Engineering Science (FORTH/ICE-HT), Stadiou str., Platani, P.O. Box 1414, GR-26500 Patras, Greece
3
School of Science and Technology, Hellenic Open University, Tsamadou 13-15, GR-26222 Patras, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Catalysts for Green Diesel Production)
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Abstract

The transformation of sunflower oil (SO) and waste cooking oil (WCO) into green diesel over co-precipitated nickel–zirconia catalysts was studied. Two series of catalysts were prepared. The first series included catalysts with various Ni loadings prepared using zirconium oxy-chloride, whereas the second series included catalysts with 60–80 wt % Ni loading prepared using zirconium oxy-nitrate as zirconium source. The catalysts were characterized and evaluated in the transformation of SO into green diesel. The best catalysts were also evaluated for green diesel production using waste cooking oil. The catalysts performance for green diesel production is mainly governed by the Ni surface exposed, their acidity, and the reducibility of the ZrO2. These characteristics depend on the preparation method and the Zr salt used. The presence of chlorine in the catalysts drawn from the zirconium oxy-chloride results to catalysts with relatively low Ni surface, high acidity and hardly reduced ZrO2 phase. These characteristics lead to relatively low activity for green diesel production, whereas they favor high yields of wax esters. Ni-ZrO2 catalysts with Ni loading in the range 60–80 wt %, prepared by urea hydrothermal co-precipitation method using zirconium oxy-nitrate as ZrO2 precursor salt exhibited higher Ni surface, moderate acidity, and higher reducibility of ZrO2 phase. The latter catalysts were proved to be very promising for green diesel production. View Full-Text
Keywords: nickel–zirconia catalysts; co-precipitation; biofuels; renewable diesel; selective deoxygenation; hydrotreatment nickel–zirconia catalysts; co-precipitation; biofuels; renewable diesel; selective deoxygenation; hydrotreatment
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Zafeiropoulos, G.; Nikolopoulos, N.; Kordouli, E.; Sygellou, L.; Bourikas, K.; Kordulis, C.; Lycourghiotis, A. Developing Nickel–Zirconia Co-Precipitated Catalysts for Production of Green Diesel. Catalysts 2019, 9, 210.

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