Chinese Journal of Organic Chemistry ›› 2019, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (11): 3258-3263.DOI: 10.6023/cjoc201902031 Previous Articles     Next Articles


李江a*(), 万童a, 张俊杰a, 傅尧b   

  1. a中国石油大学(北京)新能源与材料学院 北京 102249
    b 中国科学技术大学 化学与材料科学学院 合肥 230026
  • 收稿日期:2019-02-26 发布日期:2019-07-03
  • 通讯作者: 李江
  • 基金资助:

Iron-Catalyzed Selective Hydrogenation of Stearic Acid to Stearyl Alcohol

Li Jianga*(), Wan Tonga, Zhang Junjiea, Fu Yaob   

  1. a College of New Energy and Materials, China University of Petroleum, Beijing 102249
    b School of Chemistry and Materials Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026
  • Received:2019-02-26 Published:2019-07-03
  • Contact: Li Jiang
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21702227);the Science Foundation of China University of Petroleum (Beijing)(2462014YJRC037)

The utilization of sustainable resources such as biomass to produce fuels and chemicals has recently attracted significant attention due to the depletion of fossil reserves, increasing energy demand, and growing environmental concerns. Long-chain fatty acids, which are major constituents of plant oil, are important feedstock for biorefinery. Besides producing well-known biodiesels, the hydrogenation of fatty acids to fatty alcohols has recently drawn significant attention due to the versatility and growing market value of fatty alcohols. An example of heterogenous iron-catalyzed selective hydrogenation of stearic acid to stearyl alcohol is reported. Comparing with other reported non-noble metal centers, such as Co and Ni, Fe is 3000~30000 times more abundant and 20~150 times cheaper, thus making our method more economic and attractive. The iron catalyst was prepared by simultaneous pyrolysis of iron precursor[Fe(acac)3] and nitrogen-doped carbon precursor (melamine) onto alumina, bearing Fe3C active phase and nitrogen-doped carbon-alumina hybrid support. The optimization of preparation parameter showed that the optimal pyrolysis temperature is 900℃, while the best mass fraction of iron is 20%. The replacement of Fe(acac)3 with Fe(NO3)3 led to inferior catalytic performance, which was due to undesired redox reaction between NO3- and melamine during pyrolysis that hampered the reaction between Fe and melamine to form Fe3C active phase. Instead, hercynite phase became the predominant phase. The exploration of reaction parameter showed that the optimal reaction temperature is 320℃, and the best H2 pressure is 4 MPa. The time course for stearic acid conversion shows that stearic acid was rapidly converted into stearyl alcohol with yield of 88.6% within 0.5 h, and then gradually converted into octadecane with yield of 90% at 4 h. The unsatisfactory stability of the iron catalyst is probably due to the decomposition of Fe3C active phase to metallic Fe phase during recycling tests.

Key words: biomass conversion, hydrogenation, iron, fatty acid, fatty alcohol