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Sultan Qaboos University (2017)

Valorization of Omani waste date (Phoenix Dactylifera) pits for production of biofuels

Jamil, Farrukh

Titre : Valorization of Omani waste date (Phoenix Dactylifera) pits for production of biofuels

Auteur : Jamil, Farrukh

Université de soutenance : Sultan Qaboos University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical and Process Engineering 2017

Résumé partiel
The limited resource availability and environmental issues caused by fossil fuels, tends to increase the emphasis on biofuels production, as potentially significant source for transportation and energy production in current era. Production of biofuels from plant based oil have good prospect as potential alternative to fossil based fuels. The concept of utilizing waste Date pits for biofuels production is promising due to its abundant availability in Oman. Waste Date pits are subjected to oil extraction and the process has been optimized. The optimization studies revealed that maximum oil extracted was 16.5 wt% under these operating conditions ; process temperature was 70 °C, time was 7 hrs while the solvent to pits ratio was 4:1. The characterization of oil revealed its feasibility to be used for biofuels production. Two routes were adopted to produce biofuel from Date pits oil ; in the first route biodiesel was produced through transesterification and in the second, high value green diesel and jet fuel fractions were obtained through hydrodeoxygenation HDO. For biodiesel production, a bimetallic catalyst, which owned balanced active sites and suitable physiochemical properties for producing biodiesel, is synthesized. The biodiesel production process is optimized by using response surface methodology R$M. The optimized yield of biodiesel was 96.4 % under the following operating conditions ; temperature 90 °C, time 4 hrs, catalysts loading 3 wt.% and methanol to oil ratio 15. The quality of produced biodiesel is determined by characterizing the biodiesel by standard methods defined by ASTM and EN. The fuel properties of produced biodiesel satisfied the limits defined by ASTM and EN standards, which assured its potential usage as fuel. In the second route, Date pits oil was subjected to HDO in the presence of green catalyst. The catalyst was synthesized from waste Date pits powder post oil extraction and it was modified by impregnating it with transition metals (platinum Pt and palladium Pd). The synthesized catalysts were highly efficient and observed that the degree of deoxygenation (DOD) of product oil was 97.5 % and 89.4 % for the Pd/C and Pt/C catalysts respectively.

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