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Renewable high density fuels containing tricyclic sesquiterpanes and alkyl diamondoids

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Abstract

Three new advanced biofuels have been produced from sesquiterpene feedstocks. Cedarwood oil, which is primarily composed of the sesquiterpenes thujopsene, α-cedrene, and β-cedrene, was hydrogenated to generate a fuel blend (HCWO) with a cetane number of 31 and a volumetric net heat of combustion (NHOC) more than 12% higher than conventional jet fuel. Hydrogenation under pressures ranging from 400 to 440 psi allowed for reduction of the double bond in thujopsene while keeping the cyclopropane ring intact. A single component high density fuel containing only hydrogenated α-cedrene (cedrane) was then prepared by dehydration and hydrogenation of α-cedrol, and found to have an even higher NHOC and lower viscosity than HCWO. Cedrane was then isomerized to 1-ethyl-3,5,7-trimethyladamantane (ETMA) and a mixture of other alkyl adamantanes. The adamantane mixture had a cetane number of 46 and a viscosity suitable for use in a conventional diesel engine. This work shows that sustainable multicyclic sesquiterpenes are versatile feedstocks to ultra-performance fuels that combine high densities with high cetane numbers.

Graphical abstract: Renewable high density fuels containing tricyclic sesquiterpanes and alkyl diamondoids

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Dec 2016, accepted on 02 Feb 2017 and first published on 03 Feb 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6SE00108D
Citation: Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2017, Advance Article
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    Renewable high density fuels containing tricyclic sesquiterpanes and alkyl diamondoids

    K. W. Harrison and B. G. Harvey, Sustainable Energy Fuels, 2017, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C6SE00108D

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