Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2005
Publication Date: 4/1/2005
Citation: Boateng, A.A. Pyrolysis of alfalfa stems and dedicated herbaceous energy crops in the national biomass. Abstract 2005. AICHE Spring Meeting, Conference Proceedings. Session TJ122b, April 10-14, 2005, Atlanta, GA. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: In order to tackle the challenges of developing a biobased industry in the U.S., the 2000 biomass research and development act directs the US-DOE and USDA to integrate technology R&D programs through the Biomass Initiative. Current conversion technologies under the initiative are based on the sugar and the thermochemical platform technologies. Between these two platforms thermochemical conversion shows nearer-time promise towards developing integrated bio-refineries in the US. Pyrolysis is one process under this platform that has gained attention because it can be used to produce pyrolytic oil intermediates that can be subsequently refined to form valuable chemicals and energy carriers such as hydrogen. The role which the choice of biomass plays in achieving economic competitiveness compared with fossil fuel conversion is well documented and hence research emphasis has been placed on dedicated energy crops. In this submission, the results of the pyrolysis of alfalfa stems and certain herbaceous crops specifically, switchgrass and reed canary grass, which are identified under the biomass initiative program as dedicated energy crops, are presented. The pyrolysis was carried out in a PY-GC/MS system to determine the effect of temperature and crop maturity on gas yield. The results show distinct yield patterns and differences between the alfalfa and the herbaceous forages. The information is useful for the evaluation and comparison of the various conversion routes identified under the initiative.