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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: FAST PYROLYSIS OF BIOMASS
2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
To develop an energy self-sufficient pyrolysis equipment for the production of renewable biocrude. A two-zone fluidized-bed reactor capable of generating hot material in one zone to drive the endothermic pyrolysis reaction in a separate zone is the primary objective. In this way, two streams are generated: a conventional hot combustion gas stream where thermal energy can be recovered by conventional means, and a pyrolysis product stream where liquid products are separated from high calorific value gaseous products.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
An existing South African patent originally designed for gasification and having the dual-zone feature will be used as the prototype to develop a pyrolysis reactor. The design approach will include scale-up and/or scale-down of the fluidized bed prototype by bed area reengineering. A necessary approach is to build development units at full height to test the technology. It is proposed that the design is thoroughly thought through before investing in any commercial scale demonstrations. It is UP’s intension to ensure that the practical experience of researchers in this field is properly incorporated in the design and seeks the collaboration of such expertise at ARS which has a biomass pyrolysis program with similar objectives. The strategic approach is to involve Dr. Boateng of ARS who has demonstrated experience in the design of similar systems.


3.Progress Report

This is a new project for FY 2010 that will allow us to bring international collaborators into our pyrolysis research project. As noted in the objectives and approach of this agreement, the University of Pretoria has engineers with unique chemical and mechanical engineering skills that will benefit our programs. The Lead Scientist initiated the project by traveling to the University for a research stay during July 19 through August 17, 2010. During this time, ARS and the University collaborators will begin the collaborative design of a new two-zone energy self-sufficient fluidized-bed pyrolysis reactor.


Last Modified: 12/24/2014
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