1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Evaluate the relationship between yield and properties of bio-oil, biochar, and noncondensable gas co-products from catalytic treatments during fast pyrolysis and of the bio-oil products to produce a stable, refinable bio-oil.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Carry out in-situ catalytic pyrolysis jointly at the micro- and pilot-scale reactor systems developed at ARS using heterogeneous catalysts formulated and produced at the University of Oklahoma so as to evaluate pathways to producing fungible liquid transportation fuels such as gasoline, diesel and jet grade fuels that retain carbon and minimize hydrogen consumption. The approach will involve iterative procedures to provide feedback for catalyst formulation at the collaborator’s facility so as to develop highly stable catalyst types, structures and morphology, with active sites capable of removing reactive oxygen from the oxygenated, sugar-derived and phenolic compounds formed in the initial pyrolysis process so as to produce a stable, refinable pyrolysis oil with molecules that have transportation fuel carbon structures (e.g. from 6 to 17 carbons). State of the art analytical techniques including GCxGC, NMR, LC, etc., will be used to evaluate product quality and mass and energy balances will be closed to establish product recovery efficiencies.
3. Progress Report:
A custom reactor for microscale pyrolysis was designed, ordered and installed at the University of Oklahoma based partially on results obtained as part of this agreement. The reactor consists of a pyrolysis reactor, and a separate reactor for testing catalytic upgrading of the vapors (called ex situ catalytic pyrolysis). Products are analyzed directly by py-GC/MS. Studies on ex situ catalytic pyrolysis using this reactor are underway.