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1. WO2020016405 - PURIFICATION D'UNE MATIÈRE ORGANIQUE RECYCLÉE ET RENOUVELABLE

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

PURIFICATION OF RECYCLED AND RENEWABLE ORGANIC MATERIAL

F1ELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a method of purifying recycled or re newable organic material, in particular removing silicon from recycled or renew-able organic material comprising more than 1 ppm silicon as silicon compounds.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

ln some cases recycled or renewable organic material contains high amounts of silicon (Si) as silicon compounds. Before catalytic processing of the recycled or renewable organic material these silicon impurities need to be re-moved from the material as silicon compounds are known catalyst poisons and should therefore be removed prior to hydrotreating to maximize the cycle length and profits of the hydrotreater.

ln particular tall oil pitch (TOP) contains silicon impurities, most likely originating from anti-fouling agents used in upstream processing. Anti-fouling agents comprise e.g. polydimethylsiloxanes (PDMS), which are soluble in oil and are therefore difficult to remove from oil. Also, some other impurities can come from sand or dirt during wood collection. Removal of silicon impurities prior to hydrotreatment is required to avoid decreased lifetime of the catalyst in the unit. Conventional purification methods, such as filtration or bleaching, are not ade-quate to remove the silicon impurities effectively.

BR1EF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is thus to provide a method so as to overcome the above problems. The objects of the invention are achieved by a method which is characterized by what is stated in the independent claims. The preferred embodiments of the invention are disclosed in the dependent claims.

The invention is based on the surprizing realization that recycled or renewable organic material containing high amounts of silicon compounds may be purified by a method that leads to removal of Si from the recycled or renewa ble organic material as the recycled or renewable organic material is subjected to (b) heat treating the recycled or renewable organic material, preferably at 180 to

325°C, to form a heat treated recycled or renewable organic material, wherein at least part of silicon compounds present in the recycled or renewable organic ma terial are converted to volatile silicon compounds, and thereafter (c) evaporating volatile silicon compounds from the heat treated recycled or renewable organic material in one or more stages, preferably at 145 to 250°C, under reduced pres sure, wherein at least part, preferably from 1 to 10 w%, of the heat treated recy cled or renewable organic material evaporates.

The order of the individual process steps (b) and (c), and the condi tions in heat treatment step (b) enable maximal silicon removal from the recycled or renewable organic material.

The method allows use of low quality recycled or renewable organic material feeds as a feedstock in hydrotreating, e.g. in processes producing high quality renewable fuels and/or chemicals.

BR1EF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAW1NGS

ln the following the invention will be described in greater detail by means of preferred embodiments with reference to the attached drawings, in which

Figure 1 illustrates a first exemplary process flow of the present meth od; and

Figure 2 shows average Si removal efficiency of the flash evaporation for both with and without water addition.

DETA1LED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a method of purifying a recycled or re newable organic material.

The term "recycled or renewable organic material" refers to organic material, i.e. material containing carbon, obtained 1) from a natural resource which replenishes to overcome recourse depletion caused by its usage and con sumption or 2) from a raw or processed material that is recovered from a waste for reuse. The recycled or renewable organic material characteristically compris es aliphatic compounds having a carbon chain of from 4 to 30 carbon atoms, par ticularly from 12 to 22 carbon atoms. Typical examples of such aliphatic com pounds are fatty acids or esters thereof, in particular wherein the fatty acids have an aliphatic chain of from 4 to 30 carbon atoms, more particularly from 12 to 22 carbon atoms. The recycled or renewable organic material typically comprises at least 50 wt% aliphatic compounds of the total weight of the recycled or renewa ble organic material.

Typically the recycled or renewable organic material refers to fats and/or oils of plant, microbial, algal, and/or animal origin lt also refers to any waste stream received from processing of such oils and/or fats. The recycled or renewable organic material may be in an unprocessed form (e.g. animal fat), or a processed form (used cooking oil). The recycled or renewable organic material also refers to fossil waste-based oils and waste oils.

The term "plant based fats and oils" refers to fat and/or oils of plant origin i.e. oils that can originate directly from plants or can be byproducts from various industrial sectors, such as agriculture or forest industry.

Examples of plant based fats and oils of the present invention include, but are not limited to, sludge palm oil, rapeseed oil, canola oil, colza oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, hemp oil, olive oil, linseed oil, cottonseed oil, mustard oil, palm oil, arachis oil, castor oil and coconut oil.

Other examples of plant based fats and oils include biocrudes and bio oils. Biocrudes and bio oils are produced from biomass, in particular from ligno-cellulosic biomass, with various liquefying methods, such as hydrothermal lique faction, or pyrolysis, in particular fast pyrolysis.

The term "biocrude" refers to oils produced from biomass by employ ing hydrothermal liquefaction. The term "bio oil" refers to pyrolysis oils produced from biomass by employing pyrolysis. The term "biomass" refers to material de rived from recently living organisms, which includes plants, animals and their byproducts. The term "lignocellulosic biomass" refers to biomass derived from plants or their byproducts. Lignocellulosic biomass is composed of carbohydrate polymers (cellulose, hemicellulose) and an aromatic polymer (lignin).

The term "pyrolysis" refers to thermal decomposition of materials at elevated temperatures in a non-oxidative atmosphere. The term "fast pyrolysis" refers to thermochemical decomposition of biomass through rapid heating in ab sence of oxygen. The term "hydrothermal liquefaction" (HTL) refers to a thermal depolymerization process used to convert wet biomass into crude-like oil under moderate temperature and high pressure.

Examples of bio oil and biocrude produced from lignocellulosic bio mass, e.g. materials like forest harvesting residues or byproducts of a saw mill, are lignocellulosic pyrolysis liquid (LPL), produced by employing fast pyrolysis, and HTL-biocrude, produced by employing hydrothermal liquefaction.

Further examples of plant based fats and oils include crude tall oil (CTO), obtained as a by-product of the Kraft process (wood pulping), and its de rivatives, such as tall oil pitch (TOP), crude fatty acid (CFA), tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) and distilled tall oil (DTO).

Crude tall oil comprises resin acids, fatty acids, and unsaponifiables. Resin acids are a mixture of organic acids derived from oxidation and polymeriza tion reactions of terpenes. The main resin acid in crude tall oil is abietic acid but abietic derivatives and other acids, such as primaric acid are also found. Fatty ac ids are long chain monocarboxylic acids and are found in hardwoods and soft woods. The main fatty acids in crude tall oil are oleic, linoleic and palmitic acids. Unsaponifiables cannot be turned into soaps as they are neutral compounds which do not react with sodium hydroxide to form salts. They include sterols, higher alcohols and hydrocarbons. Sterols are steroids derivatives which also in clude a hydroxyl group.

The term "tall oil pitch (TOP)" refers to residual bottom fraction from crude tall oil (CTO) distillation processes. Tall oil pitch typically comprises from 34 to 51 wt% free acids, from 23 to 37 wt% esterified acids, and from 25 to 34 wt% unsaponifiable neutral compounds of the total weight of the tall oil pitch. The free acids are typically selected from a group consisting of dehydroabietic acid, abietic and other resin acids. The esterified acids are typically selected from a group consisting of oleic and linoleic acids. The unsaponifiables neutral com pounds are typically selected from a group consisting of diterpene sterols, fatty alcohols, sterols, and dehydrated sterols.

The term "crude fatty acid (CFA)" refers to fatty acid-containing mate rials obtainable by purification (e.g., distillation under reduced pressure, extrac tion, and/or crystallization) of CTO. The term "tall oil fatty acid (TOFA)" refers to fatty acid rich fraction of crude tall oil (CTO) distillation processes. TOFA typically comprises mainly fatty acids, typically at least 80 wt% of the total weight of the TOFA. Typically TOFA comprises less than 10 wt% rosin acids.

The term "distilled tall oil (DTO)" refers to resin acid rich fraction of crude tall oil (CTO) distillation processes. DTO typically comprises mainly fatty acids, typically from 55 to 90 wt%, and rosin acids, typically from 10 to 40 wt% rosin acids, of the total weight of the DTO. Typically DTO comprises less than 10 wt% unsaponifiable neutral compounds of the total weight of the distilled tall oil.

The term "animal based fats and oils" refers to fats and/or oils of ani mal origin i.e. lipid materials derived from animals. Examples of animal based fats and oils include, but are not limited to, such as suet, tallow, blubber, lard, train oil, milk fat, fish oil, poultry oil and poultry fat.

The term "microbial oils" refers to triglycerides (lipids) produced by microbes.

The term "algal oils" refers to oils derived directly from algae.

The term "fossil waste-based oils" refers to oils produced from waste streams like waste plastics or end-life-tires. Examples of fossil waste-based oils include waste plastic pyrolysis oil (WPPO) and end-life-tire pyrolysis oil (ELTPO).

The term "waste oils" refers to any oils that, through contamination, have become unsuitable for their original purpose due to the presence of impuri ties or loss of original properties. Examples of waste oils are used lubricant oils (ULO), hydraulic oils, transformer oils or oils used in metal working.

ln the present invention the recycled or renewable organic material is typically selected from a group consisting of plant based fats and oils, animal based fats and oils, fossil waste-based oils, waste oils, algal oils and microbial oils.

Particular examples of the recycled or renewable organic material of the present invention include, but are not limited to, animal based fats and oils, such as suet, tallow, blubber, lard, train oil, milk fat, fish oil, poultry oil, and poul try fat; plant based fats and oils, such as sludge palm oil, rapeseed oil, canola oil, colza oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, hemp oil, olive oil, linseed oil, cottonseed oil, mustard oil, palm oil, arachis oil, castor oil, coconut oil, lignocellulosic pyrolysis liquid (LPL), HTL biocrude, crude tall oil (CTO), tall oil pitch (TOP), crude fatty acid (CFA), tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) and distilled tall oil (DTO); microbial oils; al gal oils; recycled fats or various waste streams of the food industry, such as used cooking oil, yellow and brown greases; free fatty acids, any lipids containing phosphorous and/or metals, oils originating from yeast or mold products, recy cled alimentary fats; starting materials produced by genetic engineering, and any mixtures of said feedstocks.

ln an example is the present invention the recycled or renewable or ganic material is selected from a group consisting of crude tall oil (CTO), tall oil pitch (TOP), tall oil fatty acid (TOFA), crude fatty acid (CFA), tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) and distilled tall oil (DTO); more particularly the recycled or renewable organic material is crude tall oil (CTO) or tall oil pitch (TOP).

The recycled or renewable organic material to be treated by the pre sent method contains high amounts of silicon compounds. The recycled or renew able organic material of the present invention comprises more than 1 ppm Si. ln particular the recycled or renewable organic material of the present invention comprises more than 10 ppm Si, more particularly the recycled or renewable or ganic material of the present invention comprises more than 15 ppm Si, and even more particularly the recycled or renewable organic material of the present in-

vention comprises more than 20 ppm Si.

The recycled or renewable organic material to be treated by the pre sent method may also comprise further impurities e.g. impurities comprising phosphorus and/or metals in the form of phospholipids, soaps and/or salts. The impurities may for example be in the form of phosphates or sulfates, iron salts or organic salts, soaps or phospholipids. The metal impurities that may be present in the biomass-based lipid material are for example alkali metals or alkali earth metals, such as sodium or potassium salts, or magnesium or calcium salts, or any compounds of said metals.

Accordingly provided herein is a method of purifying a recycled or re newable organic material, wherein the recycled or renewable organic material comprises more than 1 ppm silicon as silicon compounds, comprising the steps of

(a) providing the recycled or renewable organic material;

(b) heat treating the recycled or renewable organic material to form a heat treated recycled or renewable organic material, wherein the at least part of silicon compounds present in the recycled or renewable organic material are con verted to volatile silicon compounds, and

(c) evaporating volatile silicon compounds from the heat treated recy cled or renewable organic material,

to obtain

(i) a vapor fraction comprising the major part of volatile silicon com pounds, and (ii) a heat treated recycled or renewable organic material fraction comprising less silicon than the recycled or renewable organic material provided in step (a).

The heat treated recycled or renewable organic material fraction ad vantageously comprises less silicon than the recycled or renewable organic mate rial provided in step (a), preferably less than 50%, more preferably less than 30% of the original silicon content of the recycled or renewable organic material pro vided in step (a).

The method optionally further comprises (d) hydrotreating the heat treated recycled or renewable organic material fraction in a presence of a hy drotreating catalyst to obtain purified recycled or renewable organic material.

The term "hydrotreating" refers to a chemical engineer process in which reaction of hydrogen is used to remove impurities, such as oxygen, sulfur, nitrogen, phosphorous, silicon and metals, especially as part of oil refining.

Hydrotreating can be performed in one or several steps in one or more reactor units or catalyst beds.

Step (d) is typically achieved under continuous hydrogen flow. For achieving optimal results the continuous hydrogen flow is step (d) preferably has H2/feed ratio from 500 to 2000 n-L/L, more preferably from 800 to 1400 n-L/L.

ln step (d) hydrotreatment is advantageously performed at a tempera ture from 270 to 380°C, preferably from 275 to 360°C, more preferably from 300 to 350°C. Typically the pressure in step (d) is from 4 to 20 MPa.

The hydrotreating catalyst is step (d) preferably comprises at least one component selected from 1UPAC group 6, 8 or 10 of the Periodic Table. Preferably the hydrotreating catalyst in step (d) is a supported Pd, Pt, Ni, NiW, NiMo or a CoMo catalysts and the support is zeolite, zeolite-alumina, alumina and/or silica, preferably N1W/AI2O3, N1M0/AI2O3 or C0M0/AI2O3. ln particular the hydrotreat ing catalyst is a sulfided NiW, NiMO or CoMo catalyst.

The time during which the recycled or renewable organic material is heated and held at the desired temperature, i.e. residence time, is typically from 1 to 300 min, preferably from 5 to 240 min, more preferably from 30 to 90 min in step (d).

An applicable hydrotreatment step (d) provides a purified hydrotreat ed recycled or renewable organic material. The purified hydrotreated recycled or renewable material advantageously comprises less than 20%, preferably less than 10%, more preferably less than 5%, of the original silicon content of the re cycled or renewable organic material provided in step (a).

For achieving optimal results part of the hydrotreated recycled or re newable organic material may be recycled in step (d). Preferably the ratio of the fresh feed i.e. purified recycled or renewable organic material obtained in step (c) to the recycled hydrotreated recycled or renewable organic material is from 2:1 to 20:1.

ln a particular example step (d) is accomplished by (dl) hydrodeoxy-genating (HDO) the heat treated recycled or renewable organic material fraction. This is preferably achieved in a presence of a HDO catalyst at a temperature from 290 to 350°C under pressure from 4 to 20 MPa and under continuous hydrogen flow.

The term "hydrodeoxygenation (HDO)" refers to removal of oxygen as water by the means of molecular hydrogen under the influence of a (HDO) cata lyst.

The HDO catalyst may for example be selected from a group consisting of NiMO-, CoMo-, NiW-catalysts and any mixtures thereof. Preferably the HDO catalyst is sulfided NiW, NiMo or CoMo catalyst.

Advantageously, the continuous hydrogen flow has H2/feed ratio from 500 to 2000 n-L/L, preferably from 800 to 1400 n-L/L.

Preferably step (dl) is performed to obtain purified recycled or re newable organic material comprising less than 1 wt% oxygen.

ln another example step (d) is accomplished by (d2) hydrodesulfuriz-ing (HSD) the heat treated recycled or renewable organic material fraction. The term "hydrodesulfurisation (HDS)" refers to removal of sulfur as hydrogensulfide by the means of molecular hydrogen under the influence of a (HDS) catalyst.

ln another example step (d) is accomplished by (d3) hydrometaillizing (HDM) the heat treated recycled or renewable organic material fraction. The term "hydrodemetallization (HDM)" refers to removal of metals by trapping them with a (HDM) catalyst.

ln another example step (d) is accomplished by (d4) hydrodenitrificat-ing (HDN) the heat treated recycled or renewable organic material fraction. The term "hydrodenitrification (HDN)" refers to removal of nitrogen by the means of molecular hydrogen under the influence of a (HDN) catalyst.

ln another example step (d) is accomplished by (d5) hydrodearomatiz-ing (HDA) the heat treated recycled or renewable organic material fraction. The term "hydrodearomatisation (HDA)" refers to saturation or ring opening of aro matics by the means of molecular hydrogen under the influence of a (HDA) cata lyst.

ln step (b) the recycled or renewable organic material is heated to cause thermal reactions that disrupt silicon containing impurities comprised in the recycled or renewable organic material creating volatile silicon compounds material that can be subsequently removed from the heat treated recycled or re newable organic material ln particular polydimethylsiloxanes (PDMS) resulting from anti-fouling agents degrade to volatile polydimethylcyclosiloxanes (PDMCS) under the process conditions.

ln step (b) the water content in the feed, i.e. the recycled or renewable organic material may advantageously vary in from 200 to 5000 ppm. lf the recy cled or renewable organic material comprises more than 5000 ppm water, it may be removed from the feed before step (b) by any suitable means known to a

skilled person for lowering the water content in the recycled or renewable organ ic material below 5000ppm.

The heat treatment of step (b) typically takes place at any temperature from 180 to 325°C. For achieving optimal results, step (b) is performed at 200 to 300°C, preferably at 240 to 280°C.

The time during which the recycled or renewable organic material is heated and held at the desired temperature, i.e. residence time, is typically from 1 to 300 min, preferably from 5 to 90 min, more preferably from 20 to 40 min in step (b).

The pressure in the heat treatment in step (b) is typically from 500 to 5000 kPa, preferably from 800 to 2000 kPa.

The pressure range in step (b) is dictated by volatility of water and it is advantageous to keep the heat treatment pressure slightly higher than the bal ance pressure of water boiling in particular heat treatment temperature. Too low pressure may drive volatile components like water and fractions of fatty acids into gas phase. Carry over of organic volatiles is enhanced by presence of water or stripping.

After the heat treatment of step (b) the volatiles created due to the heat treatment and/or otherwise present in the heat treated recycled or renewa ble organic material are removed. Accordingly in step (c) the heat treated recy cled or renewable organic material is subjected to evaporation of the volatile sili con compounds from the heat treated recycled or renewable organic material in one or more stages ln step (c) the evaporation is advantageously achieved at any temperature from 145 to 250°C, in particular at from 150°C to 225°C. For achiev ing optimal results, step (c) is performed at from 160°C to 200°C, preferably at from 160 to 180°C.

The reduced pressure in step (c) is such that evaporation of volatile Si compounds is achieved. Typically the pressure in step (c) is from 0.1 to 5 kPa, preferably from 0.1 to 3 kPa.

The evaporated mass should preferably be arranged to evaporation of 1 to 10 wt%, preferably from 1 to 8 wt%, more preferably from 1 to 5 wt%, even more preferably from 1 to 3 wt%, of the heat treated recycled or renewable or ganic material.

An applicable evaporation step (c) provides (i) a vapor fraction com prising the major part of volatile silicon compounds, and (ii) a heat treated recy cled or renewable organic material fraction comprising less than 50%, preferably less than 30%, of the original silicon content of the recycled or renewable organic material provided in step (a).

The evaporation in step (c) may be accomplished by any evaporation method found suitable by a skilled person for separation of the volatiles from the heat treated recycled or renewable organic material. Suitable examples include, but are not limited to, falling film evaporation, rising film evaporation, thin film evaporation and flash evaporation, for example. The evaporation may be accom plished in one or more stages lt is also to be understood that several evaporation methods, e.g. thin film evaporation and flash evaporation, may be combined. Pref erable evaporation method of the present invention is one or multistage flash evaporation. Due to high pressure difference in flash vessel, less evaporation mass is needed in flash evaporation to provide better mass transfer as compared to thin film evaporation. For example, applying the same method and equipment as in a typical crude tall oil (CTO) thin film evaporation process for tall oil pitch (TOP) after heat treatment remarkably increases heat consumption as compared to flash evaporation.

The optimum temperature, pressure, evaporated mass, and how many flash stages to use depends on composition and quality of the recycled or renew able organic material and also on the heat treatment parameters (temperature, pressure and residence time) of step (b).

Furthermore, it is preferable to add water to the initial mixture of the heat treated recycled or renewable organic material. Adding a small percentage of water to the initial heat treated recycled or renewable organic material allows use of lower temperature and higher vacuum pressure while achieving the same level of Si removal than in normal evaporation. Even more importantly, there is less loss of volatile fatty acids, which reduces the amount of fatty acid waste to half compared to evaporation without water.

Accordingly in an example of the present invention water is added to the heat treated recycled or renewable organic material so that water content before evaporation step (c) is from 1 to 5 wt%, preferably from 1.5 to 4 wt% more preferably from 2 to 3 wt% of the total weight of the heat treated recycled or renewable organic material.

Figure 1 illustrates a first exemplary process flow of the present meth od.

Referring to Figure 1, a feed of recycled or renewable organic material, in particular tall oil pitch (TOP), 10 is subjected to a step of heat treating 20 the recycled or renewable organic material as discussed herein for step (b). The heat treated feed of recycled or renewable organic material is then evaporated 30 as discussed herein for step (c) and a bottom containing a heat treated recycled or renewable organic material fraction 31 comprising less than 50%, preferably less than 30%, of the original silicon content of the recycled or renewable organic ma terial provided in step (a), and a vapor fraction 32 comprising the major part of volatile silicon compounds is obtained. The heat treated recycled or renewable organic material fraction may then be subjected to hydrotreatment, in particular hydrodeoxygenation, as discussed herein for step (d) 40 to obtain recycled or re newable organic material comprising less than 20%, preferably less than 10%, more preferably less than 5%, of the original silicon content of the recycled or renewable organic material provided in step (a) 41. The purified recycled or re newable organic material 41 may then be subjected to catalytic upgrading 50.

After the recycled or renewable organic material has been purified in accordance with the present method, it may be subjected to further processing e.g. catalytic upgrading. Such catalytic upgrading processes include, but are not limited to, catalytic cracking, catalytic hydrocracking, thermo-catalytic cracking, catalytic hydrotreatment, fluid catalytic cracking, catalytic ketonization, and cata lytic esterification. Such processes require the recycled or renewable organic ma terial to be sufficiently pure and free from impurities that may otherwise hamper the catalytic process or poison the catalyst(s) present in the process.

Accordingly the present invention further provides a process for pro ducing recycled or renewable hydrocarbons, comprising steps of (x) purifying the recycled or renewable organic material as discussed herein, and (y) subjecting the purified recycled or renewable organic material to an oil refinery conversion process, wherein the oil refinery conversion process comprises altering the mo lecular weight of the feed, such hydrocracking, or steamcracking, removal of het eroatoms from the feed, such as thermal catalytic cracking, fluid catalytic crack ing, or hydrotreating, in particular hydrodeoxygenating, or hydrodesulfurizing, altering the degree of saturation of the feed, such as hydrotreating, thermal cata lytic cracking, or fluid catalytic cracking, rearranging the molecular structure of the feed, such as isomerizing, or any combination thereof to obtain at least one recycled or renewable hydrocarbon.

ln a typical example of the present process the recycled or renewable hydrocarbon is a renewable traffic fuel or fuel component.

ln an example of the present process, step (y) is hydrocracking ln such example, step (y) is preferably performed in a mild hydrocracking (MHC) refinery unit, in particular in a presence of a hydrocracking catalyst.

ln another example of the present process, step (y) is steamcracking. ln such example step (y) is preferably performed in a steamcracking unit.

ln yet another example of the present process, step (y) is isomeriza tion. ln such example, step (y) is preferably performed in an isomerization unit.

ln yet another example of the present process, step (y) is hydrotreat ing. ln such example, step (y) is preferably performed in a hydrotreating unit.

ln yet another example of the present process, step (y) is thermal cata lytic cracking (TCC). ln such example, step (y) is preferably performed in a ther mal catalytic cracking unit.

ln yet another example of the present process, step (y) is fluid catalytic cracking (FCC). ln such example, step (y) is preferably performed in a fluid cata- lytic cracking unit.

EXAMPLES

Example 1

Crude and heat treated tall oil pitch (TOP) were subjected to distilla tion under varied conditions. Yield and silicon content of obtained distillate and bottom fractions are shown in Table 1 (reference) for crude TOP and in Table 2 for heat treated TOP.

Table 1


Table 2


As can be seen from Table 1 and 2, silicon content in bottom fraction of heat-treated TOP is significantly lower than crude TOP’s.

Example 2

Six tall oil pitch qualities were flash evaporated without water and with water (3%). Process conditions are shown in Table 3 (without water) and Table 4 (with water).

Table 3. Process conditions for the evaporation


Table 4. Process conditions for the evaporation with water addition


Table 5. Silicon contents after heat treatment (HT) and flash evaporation


The average Si-removal efficiency of the flash evaporation for both with and without water addition was 73% on average for all the 6 TOP qualities tested (Table 5). Even more importantly, there is less loss of volatile fatty acids, which reduces the amount of fatty acid waste to half compared to flashing with out water (Table 4).

Example 3

Heat treated and flash evaporated TOP samples were hydrotreated (hydrodeoxygenated] in different temperatures. Other process conditions, pres sure and weight hourly space velocity (WHSV], were kept constant. Pressure was 5000 kPa and WHSV was 0.95 1/h.

Table 6. Silicon contents of heat treated and flash evaporated TOP before and after HDO


The Si-removal efficiency of the hydrotreatment for heat treated and flash evaporated TOP increases when temperature is increased (Table 6).

lt will be obvious to a person skilled in the art that, as the technology advances, the inventive concept can be implemented in various ways. The inven tion and its embodiments are not limited to the examples described above but may vary within the scope of the claims.