Synthesis of Nickel-loaded Sulfated Zirconia Catalyst and Its Application for Converting Used Palm Cooking Oil to Gasoline via Hydrocracking Process
The synthesis of the nickel-loaded sulfated zirconia catalyst (Ni-SZ) and its application for the hydrocracking process have been carried out. This work has been conducted to determine the activity and selectivity from various Ni concentrations loaded on sulfated zirconia (SZ) in the hydrocracking of used palm cooking oil. The synthesis technique was preceded by sulfation of ZrO2 through incipient wetness impregnation method using H2SO4 solution and then continued with the impregnation of Ni via hydrothermal method employing NiSO4 · 6H2O precursor salt. The hydrocracking process was performed in a fix-bed microreactor at the optimum temperature (350 °C). The SZ loaded with 3 wt% of Ni (Ni-SZ 3) successfully produced the highest liquid product (44.25 wt%) and selectivity on gasoline (100 %). Besides, the gasoline fraction in the liquid product was dominated by unwanted aromatics compounds. The excellent performance of Ni-SZ 3 due to it has high acidity value, specific surface area, and Ni content.