Microwave-Assisted decarboxylation of sodium oleate and renewable hydrocarbon fuel production

Yunpu Wang, Yuhuan Liu, Rongsheng Ruan, Pingwei Wen, Yiqin Wan, Jinsheng Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The carboxyl terminal of sodium oleate has a stronger polarity than that of oleic acid; this terminal is more likely to be dipole polarized and ionically conductive in a microwave field. Sodium oleate was used as the model compound to study the decarboxylation of oleic acid leading to hydrocarbon formation via microwave-assisted pyrolysis technology. The pyrolysis gas, liquid, and solid products were precisely analyzed to deduce the mechanism for decarboxylation of sodium oleate. Microwave energy was able to selectively heat the carboxyl terminal of sodium oleate. During decarboxylation, the double bond in the long hydrocarbon chain formed a p-π conjugated system with the carbanion intermediate. The resulting p-7r conjugated system was more stable and beneficial to the pyrolysis reaction (decarboxylation, terminal allylation, isomerization, and aromatization). The physical properties of pyrolysis liquid were generally similar to those of diesel fuel, thereby demonstrating the possible use of microwaves for controlling the decarboxylation of sodium oleate in order to manufacture renewable hydrocarbon fuels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-27
Number of pages9
JournalChina Petroleum Processing and Petrochemical Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 30 2013


  • Conjugated system
  • Decarboxylation
  • Hydrocarbon
  • Microwave radiation
  • Sodium oleate


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