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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research » Research » Research Project #434026

Research Project: Development of a Novel Pyrolysis Process for the Distributed Production of Deoxygenated, Stable Bio-Oil

Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research

Project Number: 8072-41000-095-39-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2017
End Date: May 31, 2019

The objective of this proposal is to develop synergy between technologies developed at ARS and the University of Maine to produce a new pyrolysis process focused on economically producing a stable, low-oxygen content bio-oil with unique composition to provide added value to biomass producers throughout our region and country. The new process will be a hybrid process of UMaine’s Formated Assisted Pyrolysis (FAsP) and ARS’s Tail Gas Reactive Pyrolysis (TGRP). This project will produce reduced-oxygen, stable, high-yield pyrolysis oil by bringing together two independent pyrolysis processes. Oil yields are improved during oxygen removal when hydrogen removal is minimized.

Our approach will consist of conducting laboratory-scale (100 g/h) experiments at UMaine investigating FAsP with alternate gas compositions to simulate the atmosphere of TGRP. We will investigate the effects of both methane and carbon monoxide on oils produced by FAsP. Mass balance and product composition will be examined to elucidate the possible active chemical pathways. At USDA-ARS, FAsP and TGRP will be integrated using ARS’s bench scale (3 kg/h) process development unit using data generated from UMaine’s laboratory scale experiments. There we will determine the effects of elevated levels of carbon monoxide and hydrogen contributed by decomposition of Ca(CO2H)2 and optimize the hybrid process. Finally, we will test an optimized process on farm site at 1-2 metric ton/day scale using ARS’s mobile CRIPS reactor.