Fast Pyrolysis of Biomass
Sustainable Biofuels and Co-Products
2013 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.
Collaboration between ARS and the University of Pretoria continued into its third and final year on the design of a dual fluidized bed system for biomass pyrolysis called Combustion Reduction Integrated Pyrolysis System (CRIPS) for which a patent is pending. This technology is the basis for the design of the two ton per day on-farm pyrolysis unit being fabricated with BRDI grant awarded to ARS by NIFA. Construction of the 10 kg/h biomass pyrolysis system based on the patent pending design developed jointly between the University of Pretoria and ARS has been completed at the University of Pretoria. The unit successfully produced pyrolysis oil and design improvements are being made based on the test results.