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Design of a catalytic process for the hydrodeoxygenation of condensed intermediates

This HIGFLY project´s research into the design of a catalytic process for the hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) of condensed intermediates aims to streamline and enhance the production of oxygen-free fuel samples for jet fuel applications.

Johnson Matthey selected and provided heterogeneous HDO catalysts, with a particular emphasis on commercially scalable routes. Six catalysts, featuring active metals like nickel, palladium, and platinum, were tested and characterised. The catalysts that exhibited the most potential for HDO, particularly in high yields, were chosen for further exploration.

Initial tests conducted by TNO looked at batch processing of aldol condensates from acetone and furfural. The most effective approach for complete deoxygenation and hydrogenation yielded fuel products in the kerosene range around 90%.



Simultaneously, Fraunhofer UMSICHT conducted evaluations on the hydrodeoxygenation of condensates produced during gas-phase self-condensation. A specific catalyst was identified that demonstrated excellent performance, achieving an 80% degree of hydrodeoxygenation to bi-cyclic alkanes. The process, monitored for gas-phase side products, showed minimal by-product formation, indicating its suitability for jet fuel application.

The study revealed that one catalyst in particular outperformed expectations, offering a cost-effective alternative to noble metal catalysts. Strategies for improving yields, including adjusting reaction parameters and exploring multiple HDO stages, will be investigated further with a goal to produce oxygen-free fuel samples for in-depth analysis.


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