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The preparation of high-grade bio-oils through the controlled, low temperature microwave activation of wheat straw

Budarin, Vitaly L., Clark, James H., Lanigan, Brigid A., Shuttleworth, Peter, Breeden, Simon W., Wilson, Ashley J., Macquarrie, Duncan J., Milkowski, Kris, Jones, Jenny, Bridgeman, Toby, Ross, Andy
Bioresource technology 2009 v.100 no.23 pp. 6064-6068
ammonia, energy content, glucose, sulfuric acid, raw materials, wheat straw, hydrochloric acid, water content, biofuels, pyrolysis, microwave treatment, biomass, additives
The low temperature microwave activation of biomass has been investigated as a novel, energy efficient route to bio-oils. The properties of the bio-oil produced were considered in terms of fuel suitability. Water content, elemental composition and calorific value have all been found to be comparable to and in many cases better than conventional pyrolysis oils. Compositional analysis shows further differences with conventional pyrolysis oils including simpler chemical mixtures, which have potential as fuel and chemical intermediates. The use of simple additives, e.g. HCl, H₂SO₄ and NH₃, affects the process product distribution, along with changes in the chemical composition of the oils. Clearly the use of our low temperature technology gives significant advantages in terms of preparing a product that is much closer to that which is required for transport fuel applications.