The adverse environmental impact of fossil fuels has expedited the development of alternative energy technologies for the production of biofuels. Jet fuel molecules such as linear and cyclic hydrocarbons can be produced from sustainable sources with the assistance of solid heterogeneous catalysts. Such catalysts promote reactions that led to high yield and selectivity of linear and cyclic hydrocarbon compounds which are constituents of jet fuel. The oligomerization of ethylene is one of the main routes for the conversion of ethylene into hydrocarbon mixtures. The present study investigates the oligomerization of ethylene for the production of liquid hydrocarbons on novel Ni-SIRAL catalysts with 4.9 wt. % nickel on several SIRAL supports (SIRAL 10, SIRAL 20, SIRAL 30, SIRAL 40, SIRAL 40 HPV and SIRAL 70 HPV which have pore volumes of 0.75, 0.8, 0.9, 1.0, 1.5 and 0.9 ml/g respectively). SIRALs [x%Al2O3: y%SiO2] have a comparatively high level of surface acidity and large pore volume to their microporous and mesoporous support counterparts, which minimizes coking and consequently catalyst deactivation. This study 2 compared yields and selectivity for six catalysts (Ni-SIRAL 10, Ni-SIRAL-20, Ni-SIRAL 30, Ni-SIRAL 40, Ni-SIRAL 40 HPV and Ni-SIRAL 70 HPV) for the ethylene oligomerization process, with the aim to determine the most promising SIRAL support for increased liquid yield and product selectivity to linear and cyclic hydrocarbons. The experiments were carried out in a fixed bed tubular reactor at 2000C and 40 bar. The maximum coke yield was 2.55 wt. % obtained with the lowest pore volume catalyst (0.75 ml/g), and the highest hydrocarbon liquid yield (21 wt. %) was achieved with the largest pore volume (1.5 ml/g) catalyst. The liquid products obtained contain mainly C4-C10 olefins.

Date of publication

Spring 5-2024

Document Type

Thesis (Local Only Access)



Persistent identifier


Committee members

Fernando Resende, Shih-Feng Chou, Zishu Cao


Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering