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Directly catalytic upgrading bio-oil vapor produced by prairie cordgrass pyrolysis over Ni/HZSM-5 using a two stage reactor

1 Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering Department, South Dakota State University, 1400 North Campus Drive, Brookings, South Dakota, United States;
2 Chemistry and Biochemistry Department, South Dakota State University, 1400 North Campus Drive, Brookings, South Dakota, United States;
3 Agricultural Engineering Department, China Agricultural University, 17 Qinghuadonglu, Haidian, Beijing, P.R. China

Special Issues: Advances in Production of Biofuels

Catalytic cracking is one of the most promising processes for thermochemical conversion of biomass to advanced biofuels in recent years. However, current effectiveness of catalysts and conversion efficiency still remain challenges. An investigation of directly catalytic upgrading bio-oil vapors produced in prairie cordgrass (PCG) pyrolysis over Ni/HZSM-5 and HZSM-5 in a two stage packed-bed reactor was carried out. The Ni/HZSM-5 catalyst was synthesized using an impregnation method. Fresh and used catalysts were characterized by BET and XRD. The effects of catalysts on pyrolysis products yields and quality were examined. Both catalysts improved bio-oil product distribution compared to non-catalytic treatment. When PCG pyrolysis vapor was treated with absence of catalyst, the produced bio-oils contained higher alcohols (10.97%) and furans (10.14%). In contrast, the bio-oils contained the second highest hydrocarbons (34.97%)and the highest phenols (46.97%) when PCG pyrolysis vapor was treated with Ni/HZSM-5. Bio-oils containing less ketones and aldehydes were produced by both Ni/HZSM-5 and HZSM-5, but no ketones were found in Ni/HZSM-5 treatment compared to HZSM-5 (2.94%). The pyrolysis gas compositions were also affected by the presenting of HZSM-5 or Ni/HZSM-5 during the catalytic upgrading process. However, higher heating values and elemental compositions (C, H and N) of bio-chars produced in all treatments had no significant difference.
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