Partial oxidation of n-hexadecane and polyethylene in supercritical water

Masaru Watanabe, Makoto Mochiduki, Shuhei Sawamoto, Tadafumi Adschiri, Kunio Arai

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93 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we show the results of partial oxidation experiments of n-hexadecane (n-C16) and polyethylene (PE) in supercritical water (SCW). The experiments were carried out at 673 or 693 K of reaction temperature and 5 or 30 min of reaction time using a 6 cm3 of a batch type reactor. Water density ranged from 0.1 to 0.52 g/cm3 (water pressure: 20-40 MPa). The loaded amount of oxygen was set to 0.3 of the ratio of oxygen atom to carbon atom. Some experiments were made using CO instead of oxygen for the partial oxidation of n-C16 and PE to explore the effect of water gas shift reaction. In the results of partial oxidation of n-C16, the yield of CO and some compounds containing oxygen atoms, such as aldehydes and ketones increased with increasing water density. Moreover, 1-alkene/n-alkane ratio in the products decreased with increasing water density. The 1-alkene/n-alkane ratio was lower than that of pyrolysis in SCW. Also for the case of PE experiments, in dense SCW (0.42 g/cm3), the 1-alkene/n-alkane ratio in partial oxidation was lower than that in SCW pyrolysis. In the case of CO experiments for n-C16 and PE, 1-alkene/n-alkane ratio was a little lower than that of pyrolysis in SCW. These results show that the yield of n-alkane, which is a hydrogenated compound, was higher through water gas shift reaction in SCW and also through partial oxidation in SCW. Therefore, these results suggest the possibility of hydrogenation of hydrocarbon through partial oxidation followed by the water gas shift reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-266
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Supercritical Fluids
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • N-hexadecane
  • Partial oxidation
  • Polyethylene
  • Supercritical water
  • Water gas shift reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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