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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: FAST PYROLYSIS OF BIOMASS

Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-Products

2012 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:

Substantial progress has been made in the construction of the 10 kg/h biomass pyrolysis system based on the patent pending design developed jointly between the University of Pretoria and ARS. ARS scientists visited the University of Pretoria in February 2012 and performed testing of the heating and material flows between the combustion and pyrolysis duel reactors.


Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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