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Production of acetonitrile via catalytic fast pyrolysis of biomass derived polylactic acid under ammonia atmosphere

Yuan, Ziguo, Zhang, Xin, Yao, Qian, Zhang, Ying, Fu, Yao
Journal of analytical and applied pyrolysis 2019 v.140 pp. 376-384
acetonitrile, aldehydes, aluminum, amides, ammonia, biomass, carbon, catalysts, catalytic activity, cobalt, cobalt oxide, imines, ketones, liquids, polylactic acid, pyrolysis, silicon, temperature
In this study, a series of catalysts including different metal oxides loading on HZSM-5(Si/Al = 25) and cobalt oxides loading on different supports were synthesized to catalyze fast pyrolysis (CFP) of biomass derived polylactic acid (PLA) to produce acetonitrile under ammonia atmosphere. Both the metal and the acid of the catalyst had a crucial influence on the yield of acetonitrile and Co/HZSM-5(25) produced most acetonitrile. Other factors that might affect the product distribution including cobalt loading, reaction temperature, resident time and NH3 flow rate have been investigated systematically. Under the optimized CFP condition (650 ℃; resident time 2.4 s; NH3 flow rate 80 ml/min), the carbon yield and selectivity of acetonitrile in liquid product reached 50.2% and 83.6%, respectively. The possible reaction pathway from PLA to acetonitrile was also studied and proposed. PLA firstly cracked into lactic acid through thermal decomposition and formed lactide at the same time. Then lactic acid and lactide cracked into low-molecular aldehydes, ketones and acids. These aldehydes and ketones reacted with ammonia to form imines, acids to amides, and finally to acetonitrile and small amount of proponitrile under the catalysis of Co/HZSM-5 catalyst.