Electrochemical synthesis of tailor-made hydrocarbons from organic solvent free aqueous fatty acid mixtures in a micro flow reactor
The process described in the current paper is an alternative route that allows running the Kolbe electrolysis under economically attractive conditions and thus bringing it closer to an industrial application through novel process conditions, novel reactor technology, and the utilization of low-cost excess renewable electricity. The process allows the conversion of fatty acids into hydrocarbons in aqueous electrolytes without applying organic solvents. Important process parameters such as electrode material costs, surface area, and energy requirements of an electrochemical reactor in MW scale have been calculated. Depending on the fatty acid mixtures chosen, tailor-made product equivalents of jet oil, lamp oil, and diesel fuels can be achieved at high Faraday efficiency and high conversion, yields, and selectivities.