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Development of a catalyst for deoxygenation of biofuel intermediates without hydrogen gas

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Zheng
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) is a dominant technology that is currently employed to eliminate the oxygen content from biofuels. It removes the oxygen content from biofuels. It removes oxygen in the form of water at high hydrogen pressures. HDO technology forms the basis of a number of commercial processes (e.g. Neste Oil’s NExBTLTM, UOP/Eni’s Ecofining™) that produce hydrocarbon fuels from feeds such as vegetable oils and animal fats. The resulting fuels, marketed as ’green’ diesel, are superior to both biodiesel and fossil diesel in terms of performance and reduced emissions. Since biofuels frequently contain more than 10 w/w% oxygen, a large amount of high-pressure hydrogen is consumed in the hydrodeoxygenation reaction.

The proposed research targets carboxyl groups and carbonyl groups. Direct cleavage of C-C and C-O bonds requiring little or no hydrogen is the preferred chemical route for deoxygenation. It has been shown that decarboxylation (DCX) and decarbonylation (DCN) accompany hydrodeoxygenation during hydrotreatment of biofuels, with DCX removing oxygen as CO2 while DCN eliminates oxygen as H2O and CO. A bimetallic catalyst (a metal pair uploaded on reducible metal oxides) is proposed to catalyse this deoxygenation.

Please apply by clicking the "Apply Online" button below.
Select the Research Area: "Materials & Processes" and clearly state on your application form which project you are applying for and the relevant supervisor.

Funding Notes

This is a fully funded position which covers tuition fees for Home and Overseas students and a stipend starting at £15,381.

How good is research at University of Edinburgh in General Engineering?
(joint submission with Heriot-Watt University)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 91.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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