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Hetero‐coupling of bio‐based medium chain carboxylic acids by Kolbe electrolysis enables high fuel yield and efficiency

Von Wiley-VCH zur Verfügung gestellt

Mixtures of n -carboxylic acids ( n -CA) as derived from microbial conversion of waste biomass are converted to bio-fuel using Kolbe electrolysis. While providing full carbon and electron balances key parameters like electrolysis time, chain length of n -CA and pH were investigated for their influence on reaction efficiency. Electrolysis of n -hexanoic acid showed the highest Coulombic Efficiency ( CE ) of 58.9 ± 16.4% (n = 4) for liquid fuel production among individually tested n -CA. Duration of the electrolysis was varied within a range of 0.27 to 1.02 Faraday Equivalents without loss of efficiency. Noteworthy, CE increased to ~70% by hetero-coupling when electrolysing n -CA mixtures regardless of the applied pH. Thus, 1 L of fuel can be produced from 12.4 mol of n -CA mixture using 5.02 kWh (that accounts to <1 € L -1 ). Thus, a coupling with microbial processes producing n -CA mixtures from different organic substrates and waste is more than promising.

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