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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #315752

Research Project: Farm-Scale Pyrolysis Biorefining

Location: Sustainable Biofuels and Co-products Research

Title: Catalytic and non-catalytic pyrolysis of biomass in non-inert environments for production of deoxygenated bio-oil and chemicals

item Mullen, Charles
item Boateng, Akwasi
item Elkasabi, Yaseen
item Schaffer, Mark

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2015
Publication Date: 6/1/2015
Citation: Mullen, C.A., Boateng, A.A., Elkasabi, Y.M., Schaffer, M.A. 2015. Catalytic and non-catalytic pyrolysis of biomass in non-inert environments for production of deoxygenated bio-oil and chemicals. Meeting Abstract. 60(2): 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Fast pyrolysis processes are among the most effective methods for liquefaction of lignocellulosic biomass. Catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP) over HZSM-5 or other zeolites and/or utilization of reactive atmospheres such as in the non-catalytic Tail Gas Reactive Pyrolysis (TRGP) process, a recent patent pending development at ARS, can reduce the levels of problematic oxygen in the organic liquid products (pyrolysis oils). The pyrolysis oils produced via both of these methods are a low H/C liquid mixture comprising mostly aromatic hydrocarbons and phenolics with oxygen contents as low as 12 wt%. In comparison to traditional fast pyrolysis oils these deoxygenated pyrolysis oils are more thermally stable which allows for their separation into fractions using distillation, and potentially higher compatibility with petroleum for co-processing into fuels and chemicals. This opens the possibility of isolating higher value chemical products, such as particular aromatics or phenolics from the pyrolysis oil rather than hydrotreating the entire mixture to a lower value fuel product. For example, the pyrolysis oils from the TGRP process contain high concentrations of phenol and alkyl phenols and their partial isolation via distillation has been demonstrated. Still, to further improve the quality of the pyrolysis oil and expand the potential utility of the products, higher H/C ratio bio-oils are necessary. In addition to the processes mentioned above, this presentation will discuss the results of two methods employed to produce higher H/C bio-oils from TGRP. The first is through the use of feedstocks that naturally contain hydrogen rich components or addition of such materials. Another more general method is to utilize the co-product excess gas stream rich in H2 and CO in a secondary (ex situ) catalytic step to produce a further reduced product mixture.