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Characterization of energy carriers obtained from the pyrolysis of white ash, switchgrass and corn stover — Biochar, syngas and bio-oil

Chen, Tianju, Liu, Ronghou, Scott, Norman R.
Fuel processing technology 2016 v.142 pp. 124-134
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Fraxinus americana, Panicum virgatum, X-ray diffraction, biochar, biofuels, biomass, carbon, carbon fibers, corn stover, energy, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, hydrogen, methane, pyrolysis, scanning electron microscopy, synthesis gas, temperature
The pyrolysis of three representative sources of biomass, namely, white ash, switchgrass and corn stover were investigated using a fixed-bed reactor to observe and compare the characterizations of three energy carriers, biochar, syngas and bio-oil. The characteristics of biochar were determined by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray diffractometer (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), Gas Chromatography (GC) and Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC–MS).The results showed that the carbon content of biochar increased with the increase of pyrolysis temperature. More than 52wt.% of the carbon was captured in the biochar. The infrared spectra of char samples illustrated that various bands in the spectra were identified, corresponding to stretches -NH-, aliphatic stretches -CH-, stretches conjugate –CC–, –CH3 and stretches –CO–. The surface morphology of biomass sample changed after pyrolysis and carbon fiber can be formed at the temperature of 500°C. The content of combustible gas CH4, H2 and CO was changed from 50% to 70%. The GC–MS analysis of bio-oil showed that most of the chemical compounds detected were phenolic ones. This study provides a useful reference for energy carriers from the pyrolysis of biomass.