Hydrogenation of Oxidized Wax and a Process To Produce Olefins from Paraffins by Autoxidation, Selective Hydrogenation, and Dehydration

Hydrogenation of oxidized wax to produce an oxidized wax enriched in sec-alcohols was investigated experimentally. Hydrogenation over copper chromite catalysts resulted in an alcohol yield of 50−55% at 180−190 °C, 10 MPa of hydrogen pressure, and liquid hourly space velocity of 0.4 h−1. Hydrogenation at temperatures above 200 °C resulted in significant overhydrogenation of the oxidized wax to paraffins. Copper chromite catalysts were also found to be active for the esterification of carboxylic acids with alcohols. The combination of copper chromite with Ru/C increased carboxylic acid conversion, but did not improve the overall alcohol yield. The results from the experimental work were employed in conjunction with previous studies to propose a process for the production of olefins from paraffins by autoxidation, selective hydrogenation, and alcohol dehydration. All of these processing steps can be performed at <300 °C.