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01-12-2011 | Original Article | Issue 4/2011

Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery 4/2011

Catalytic conversion of biomass to bio-syncrude oil

Journal:
Biomass Conversion and Biorefinery > Issue 4/2011
Authors:
Ofei Daku Mante, Foster A. Agblevor

Abstract

The conversion of biomass to transportation fuels and chemicals has been of immense interest in recent years. In this study, the production of high quality bio-oil (bio-syncrude oil) was achieved by catalytically cracking pyrolysis vapors from hybrid poplar in a dual-fluidized bed reactor. The catalytic deoxygenation of the primary pyrolysis vapors was achieved with a commercial HZSM-5 at 425–450°C. The organic, water, char, coke, and gas yields were 11.9, 20.9, 16.5, 3.8, and 46.8 wt.%, respectively. This work demonstrated that the use of a fluidized bed reactor for the catalytic upgrading reduces coke formation and increases catalyst lifetime. The concentration of the permanent gases was in the order of CO > CO2 > C3H6 > CH4 > H2 > other C2–C4. The light bio-syncrude (LBS) oil collected from the condenser was predominately aromatic hydrocarbons. The heavy bio-syncrude (HBS) oil collected from the electrostatic precipitator consisted of mainly phenols, methyl-substituted phenols, naphthalenes, benzenediols, and naphthalenol. The bio-syncrude oils were low in oxygen, less viscous, less acidic, stable, and high in energy density. The higher heating value of the light and heavy bio-syncrude oil was 36.89 and 33.98 MJ/kg, respectively. The distillate yields from the atmospheric distillation showed that 91 wt.% of the LBS oil distills up to 220°C and 76 wt.% of the HBS oil distills up to 440°C. Accelerated stability test of the oils at 90°C for 24 h and storage of the oils at room temperature for 10 months showed that the bio-syncrude oils were stable. The catalytic deoxygenation of the pyrolysis vapors resulted in the removal of undesirable oxygenates such as levoglucosan, carboxylic acids, aldehydes, and ketones. The bio-syncrude oil can be considered as a suitable feed for use in a petroleum refinery for the production of transportation fuels and chemicals.

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