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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Embrapa Agroenergy Post-Doctoral Training at ARS on Pyrolysis of Brazilian Based Biomass Feedstocks to Fungible Fuels and Coproducts

Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-Products

Project Number: 8072-41000-095-03
Project Type: Nonfunded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 01, 2012
End Date: Sep 30, 2017

To provide research experience to the scientists at the Laboratory of Chemical Processes (LPQ) research group and that of the Pilot Plants Area (PPI) of Embrapa Agroenergy pertaining to the development of biomass pyrolysis technologies with the goal of obtaining: (1) bio-oil with stable properties that meet boiler fuel or refinable crude oil specifications, from which a range of products can be obtained through different processing routes; (2) biochar co-product with potential application to soil amendment; (3) non-condensable gas product with the potential to supply energy to the process through its combustion and also for heat or electricity. Additional objective is to build capacity for the expansion of Embrapa Agroenergy’s research structure as applied to the development of biomass thermochemical processes as well as to the conversion of products, byproducts and wastes into high value added products. Additionally, Embrapa Agronergy seeks to promote the establishment and consolidation of scientific and technical partnership between Embrapa Agroenergy and the Eastern Regoinal Research Center (ARS/USDA) for future complementary projects.

Scientists from Embrapa Agroenergy will be stationed at the ARS lab in Wyndmoor, PA and carry out multi-phase research on the conversion of biomass via pyrolysis including thermal (non-catalytic) pyrolysis, catalytic pyrolysis and pyrolysis oil upgrading to fungible fuels. Feedstock for these studies will come from Brazilian biomass resources including woody biomass from Brazilian forest reserves for example eucalyptus, agricultural residues such as sugarcane bagasse and others. Pyrolysis conversion approach will begin with analytical characterization, followed by pilot scale production of pyrolysis liquids following ARS catalytic and non-catalytic technologies. The products will be analyzed for stability and utility as fungible fuel. Bio-oil produced will be further upgraded to infrastructure ready transportation fuel blendstocks. Scale-up and commercialization of these technologies based on the Brazilian feedstock will be explored using ASPEN simulations and techno-economic analyses.

Last Modified: 8/25/2016
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