The effect of activation environment (N2, H2 and H2S/H2) on the hydrocracking performance of a NiMo/Al catalyst was studied at 380 °C and 3.5 MPa using octacosane (C28). The catalyst physical structure and acidity were characterized by BET, XRD, SEM-EDX and FTIR techniques. The N2 activation generated more active nonsulfided NiMo/Al catalyst relative to the H2 or H2S activation (XC28, 70–80% versus 6–10%). For a comparison, a NiMo/Si-Al catalyst was also tested after normal H2 activation and showed higher activity at the same process conditions (XC28, 81–99%). The high activity of the NiMo/Al (N2 activation) and NiMo/Si-Al catalysts was mainly ascribed to a higher number of Brønsted acid sites (BAS) on the catalysts. The hydrocracking of cobalt wax using Pt/Si-Al and Pt/Al catalysts confirmed the superior activity of the Si-Al support. A double-peak product distribution occurred at C4–C6 and C10–C16 on all catalysts, which illustrates secondary hydrocracking and faster hydrocracking at the middle of the chain. The nonsulfided NiMo/Al and Pt/Al catalysts, and NiMo/Si-Al catalyst produced predominantly diesel (sel. 50–70%) and gasoline range (sel. > 50%) hydrocarbons, respectively, accompanied by some CH4 and light hydrocarbons C2–C4. On the other hand, the hydrocarbon distribution of the Pt/Si-Al varied with conditions (i.e., diesel sel. 87–90% below 290 °C or gasoline sel. 60–70% above 290 °C accompanied by little CH4) The dependence of the isomer/paraffin ratio on chain length was studied as well. The peak iso/paraffin value was observed at C10–C13 for the SiAl catalyst.

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Published in Reactions, v. 2, issue 4.

© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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