Main content area

Catalytic co-pyrolysis of red cedar with methane to produce upgraded bio-oil

Tshikesho, Redemptus S., Kumar, Ajay, Huhnke, Raymond L., Apblett, Allen
Bioresource technology 2019 v.285 pp. 121299
acids, aldehydes, aromatization, biofuels, biomass, catalysts, energy, energy content, furans, hydrogen, ketones, methane, molybdenum, phenols, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pyrolysis, transportation, zinc
Fast pyrolysis is a promising route to transform biomass into bio-oil for further refining into transportation fuels and chemicals. However, bio-oil applications suffer from several challenges due to its adverse properties. This study reports improving bio-oil properties through co-pyrolysis of biomass with methane over molybdenum/zinc (MoZn/ZHSM-5) and HZSM-5 catalysts that promote deoxygenation, decarbonylation, hydrogen transfer and aromatization reactions. The co-pyrolysis was conducted at 650 °C and 750 °C in a micro-scale reactor and a bench-scale reactor. The highest bio-oil yield, energy content, and energy yield of 53.4%, 10.2 MJ/kg, and 29.9%, respectively, were obtained with methane over MoZn/HZSM-5 at 650 °C. Acids, alcohols, aldehydes, benzene derivatives, BTEXs, furans, ketones, PAHs, and phenols were detected in bio-oils while phenols dominated under most conditions. Oxygenated compounds decreased using MoZn/HZSM-5 with methane at 750 °C. The results demonstrate that methane used with catalysts can reduce oxygenated compounds and improve properties and yield of bio-oil.