Investigation and optimization of the iso-oleic acid hydrogenation process by coupled in-situ spectroscopies and bifunctional catalysis
Promotors: Prof. dr. ir. B. M. Weckhuysen & Prof. dr. E.T.C. Vogt
Sponsors: Croda, BASF & VibSpec
Iso-stearic acid is a naturally-derived fatty acid found in various applications such as cosmetics, foods and lubricating oils. Its commercial production takes place through the hydrogenation of iso-oleic acid, which can be produced from vegetable oils.
The aim of this project is to design a bifunctional solid catalyst which, in addition to the hydrogenation of iso-oleic acid, also removes undesired colour and odour compounds from the reaction mixture. To study the hydrogenation process, a combination of in-situ characterization methods will be installed in a stirred reactor, namely ATR-IR, Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy.