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Cleanup and conversion of biomass liquefaction aqueous phase to C3-C5 olefins over ZnxZryOz catalyst

Davidson Stephen D., Lopez-Ruiz Juan A., Flake Matthew, Cooper Alan R., Elkasabi Yaseen, Morgano Marco Tomasi, Dagle Vanessa Lebarbier, Albrecht Karl O., Dangle Robert A.
Catalysts 2019 v.9 no.11 pp. 1-15
acetic acid, bio-feedstocks, biomass, carbon dioxide, catalysts, corn stover, fluidized beds, horse manure, hydrogen, hydrothermal liquefaction, liquid-liquid extraction, nitrogen, olefin, propionic acid, propylene, pyrolysis, wood, zinc, zinc oxide, zirconium, zirconium oxide
The viability of using a previously studied ZnxZryOz catalyst for the direct production of olefins from aqueous phase bio-oil feedstocks was explored. In this work, we looked at three different bio-mass derived aqueous phases: hydrothermal liquefaction of cornstover, fluidized bed fast pyrolysis of horse litter, and screw pyrolysis of wood pellets. While overall composition varied for each feedstock, the main components for each were the carboxylic acids, acetic acid and propionic acid. Expanding on a previously reported clean up process, a continuous liquid-liquid extraction process was developed instead of a batch process. Complete conversion of the carboxylic acids over the ZnxZryOz catalyst was achieved for all feedstocks. The main product for all feedstocks was isobutene, followed by CO2. While all feedstocks were able to be converted, the content of non-participating carbon was found to increase deactivation of the ZnxZryOz catalyst. The effect of gas environment was also studied. By changing the carrier gas from N2 to H2, the selectivity to propene was increased while selectivity to isobutene decreased.