We converted palmitic and oleic acids to fuel range hydrocarbons using two activated carbons in near- and supercritical water with no H2 added. The main products from palmitic acid were C8-C15n-alkanes. The major products from oleic acid were C12-C17n-alkanes and some C17 olefins. The pseudo-first-order rate constants displayed Arrhenius behavior. The apparent activation energy of 125 kJ/mol for palmitic acid decarboxylation is higher than that observed with a 5% Pt/C catalyst. Nevertheless, these results show that activated carbons possess catalytic activity for the hydrothermal decarboxylation of fatty acids.
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