Innovation Sphere

Projects Sharing Researchers


  • Paul Ratnasamy
  • Moises Carreon
  • Masoudeh Ahmadi



Project TitleSingle-step Process for Production of Branched, Cyclic and Aromatic Hydrocarbons from Fatty Acids (14010 & 14044)
Track Code14010
Short DescriptionNone



Features and Benefits

  • Novel and simplified process for producing commercially relevant for producing commercially relevant hydrocarbons from fatty acids.
  • Multifunctional catalyst promotes efficiency by enabling conversion of lipid biomass material in a single reactor.
  • Further conversion of reactants following decarboxylation offers a broad array of commercial products, e.g., renewable or "green" diesel, lubricants, petrochemical intermediates.

*This technology is available for licensing, further development, or industrial partnering




University of Louisville researchers have developed a novel process for converting fatty acids into branched, cyclic and aromatic hydrocarbons.  More specifically, the process has been shown to catalyze decarboxylation and further conversions of oleic acid to paraffins, branched and aromatic hydrocarbons.  The reactions are catalyzed by platinum supported on small pore zeolites and hydrotalcite.

During the process, an increase in reaction temperature yields increased decarboxylation and selectivity to heptadecane and dodecylbenzene among the products when using Pt-SAPO-34 as the catalyst.  Side products yielded by the process include branched isomers, paraffins, alkenes, and carboxylic acids such as nonanoic acid and decanoic.

The process provided by this invention enables a simplified and scalable method to produce a number of useful hydrocarbons for transportation fuel, lubricants and important intermediaries from an environmentally friendly, renewable resource.


Markets Addressed


Hydrocarbons are broadly used organic compounds that are commonly formulated as fuel for combustion, particularly in transportation fuel applications. Most hydrocarbons are obtained from processing and refining fossil fuels. The problem with fossil fuels as a sole or predominant source of hydrocarbons is that their supply is limited and unsustainable. Interest in the production of alternative fuel sources is on the rise globally due to a growing desire to steadily reduce CO2 emissions and dependency on nonrenewable fossil fuels.


Technology Status 

Patent Applications Pending:

  • International Pat. App. No. PCT/US2014/056288 (Pub. No. WO 2015/042253 A1), U.S. Pat. App. No. 14/489,852, “Single-step process for production of branched, cyclic, aromatic, and cracked hydrocarbons from fatty acids”
  • International Pat. App. No. PCT/US2015/018625 (Pub. No. WO 2015/134570 A1), U.S. Pat. App. No. 14/637,843 (Pub. No. US 2015/0252270 A1), “Single-step catalytic process for production of branched, cyclic, aromatic and cracked hydrocarbons from fatty acids”
  • Publications:

    M. Ahmadi, et al., “Decarboxylation and further transformation of oleic acid over bifunctional, Pt/SAPO-11 catalyst and Pt/chloride Al2O3 catalysts,” Journal of Molecular Catalysis A: Chemical 386 (2014), 14-19.

    M. Ahmadi, et al., “Decarboxylation of oleic acid over Pt catalysts supported on small-pore zeolites and hydrotalcite,” Catalysis Science & Technology, 2015, 5, 380.

    Tagsgreen-tech, sustainability, eco-friendly, renewable diesel, green diesel, renewable energy
    Posted DateApr 9, 2015 10:34 AM


    Paul Ratnasamy
    Moises Carreon
    Masoudeh Ahmadi


    File Name Description
    Marketing Abstract 14010 & 14044 Marketing abstract for technology 14010 and 14044 in .pdf Download
    UL_photo.png University of Louisville mark - protected. Download