Hydroconversion of abietic acid into value-added fuel components over sulfided NiMo catalysts with varying support acidity
Journal article, 2019

The hydroconversion of abietic-type rosin acids, with a tri-ring structure into mono-ring structure hydrocarbons, was investigated. The reactions were performed at 380 °C under 7500 kPa of H2 pressure over sulfided NiMo catalysts supported on alumina, USY-zeolite and mixed alumina/USY-zeolite. The NiMo supported catalysts were characterized using N2-physisorption, ethylamine-temperature programmed desorption (ethylamine-TPD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and temperature programmedoxidation (TPO). The sulfided NiMo supported on only USY-zeolite showed the highest selectivity towards production of the mono-ring hydrocarbons such as methyl cyclopentane due to the strong Brønsted acid character of USY-zeolite. Whereas, the sulfided NiMo supported on alumina with weaker Brønsted acidity showed strong selectivity towards the di and tri-ring hydrocarbons such as dimethyl tetralins and retene. Moreover, the selectivities towards the mono-ring hydrocarbons over the NiMo catalysts with mixed supports were lower with a higher alumina content. Finally, the results show that the sulfided NiMo catalyst supported on alumina/USY-zeolite support with 50 wt% zeolite achieved a good level of deoxygenation, ring opening and cracking of the rosin acid while avoiding excessive coke formation.

Ring opening reaction

Rosin acids

Brønsted acidity


Carbon deposition


Houman Ojagh

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Derek Creaser

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Muhammad Abdus Salam

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Eva Lind Grennfelt


Louise Olsson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology

Fuel Processing Technology

0378-3820 (ISSN)

Vol. 190 55-55-66

The Competence Centre for Catalysis, KCK

Preem (22490-4), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Johnson Matthey AB (22490-4), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Scania CV AB (22490-4), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Swedish Energy Agency, 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Volvo Cars (22490-4), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Chalmers (22490-4), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Umicore (22490-4), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

ECAPS AB, 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Volvo Group (22490-4), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Chemical Process Engineering

Environmental Sciences

Areas of Advance




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