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Characterization of Fast Pyrolysis Bio-oils Produced from Pretreated Pine Wood

Hassan, El-barbary M., Steele, Philip H., Ingram, Leonard
Applied biochemistry and biotechnology 2009 v.154 no.1-3 pp. 3-13
pyrolysis, pretreatment, wood, Pinus, biomass, chemical composition, physical properties, wood oils, phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, ammonium hydroxide, hydrogen peroxide, water content, viscosity, molecular weight, gel permeation chromatography, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, biofuels
The pretreatment of biomass prior to the fast pyrolysis process has been shown to alter the structure and chemical composition of biomass feed stocks leading to a change in the mechanism of biomass thermal decomposition. Pretreatment of feed stocks prior to fast pyrolysis provides an opportunity to produce bio-oils with varied chemical composition and physical properties. This provides the potential to vary bio-oil chemical and physical properties for specific applications. To determine the influence of biomass pretreatments on bio-oil produced during fast pyrolysis, we applied six chemical pretreatments: dilute phosphoric acid, dilute sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, ammonium hydroxide, and hydrogen peroxide. Bio-oils were produced from untreated and pretreated 10-year old pine wood feed stocks in an auger reactor at 450 °C. The bio-oils' physical properties of pH, water content, acid value, density, viscosity, and heating value were measured. Mean molecular weights and polydispersity were determined by gel permeation chromatography. Chemical characteristics of the bio-oils were determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and Fourier transform infrared techniques. Results showed that the physical and chemical characteristics of the bio-oils produced from pretreated pine wood feed stocks were influenced by the biomass pretreatments applied. These physical and chemical changes are compared and discussed in detail in the paper.