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Direct Conversion of Agricultural Oils to Hydrocarbons

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dc.contributor.advisor Mushrush, George W.
dc.contributor.author Alghamdi, Maha
dc.creator Alghamdi, Maha
dc.date 2015-05-01
dc.date.accessioned 2015-08-19T12:49:29Z
dc.date.available 2015-08-19T12:49:29Z
dc.date.issued 2015-08-19
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/1920/9802
dc.description.abstract Biodiesel fuel is a far more advantageous energy source as compared to petrodiesel fuel because biodiesel is renewable, biodegradable, non-toxic, and does not contain significant amounts of sulfur and aromatics. Biodiesel is an environmentally safe fuel that can be used in any diesel engine without making any significant modifications. The production of hydrocarbons from agricultural oils is an essential area of study because it provides a safe, non-toxic, cost effective, and environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum derived fuels. The agricultural oils are directly converted to hydrocarbons through delayed coking, which is a process that mimics the petroleum refining process. The step by step conversion involves transesterification, removal of atmospheric oxygen by a freeze-pump-thaw cycle, thermal cracking (pyrolysis), and subsequent gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis. The aim of this study was to synthesize hydrocarbons from wheat germ oil and black seed oil and then determine the hydrocarbon chain length generated and their percentage composition. This is significant because the number of carbons in a hydrocarbon chain dictate which kind of fuel source would be synthesized from these agricultural oils. The results convey that the 30 minute pyrolysis at 675°C converted all the fatty acid methyl esters completely to alkenes for the wheat germ oil sample. The 60 minute pyrolysis at 675°C converted all of the fatty acid methyl esters to alkenes for the black seed oil sample. The highest percentage of hydrocarbons found in the wheat germ oil sample was a hydrocarbon chain length of 16 carbons, present at 26.3% for pyrolysis done at 675°C for 120 minutes. The highest percentage of hydrocarbons found in the black seed oil sample was a hydrocarbon chain length of 10 carbons, present at 51.7% for pyrolysis done at 675°C for 60 minutes. These findings are significant in that the conversion of wheat germ oil and black seed oil to hydrocarbons produces a robust amount of biodegradable, nontoxic, and environmentally safe biofuel, which would serve as an attractive alternative to the costly and harmful high emission profiles of petroleum based fuels.
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject hydrocarbons en_US
dc.subject black seed oil en_US
dc.subject wheat germ oil en_US
dc.subject agricultural oils en_US
dc.subject biodiesel en_US
dc.title Direct Conversion of Agricultural Oils to Hydrocarbons en_US
dc.type Thesis en
thesis.degree.name Master of Science in Chemistry en_US
thesis.degree.level Master's en
thesis.degree.discipline Chemistry en
thesis.degree.grantor George Mason University en


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