Faculty Advisor

Ravindra Datta

Abstract

A novel process for single-pot conversion of biomass to biofuels was developed called the molten salt catalytic pyrolysis (MSCP) method. The proposed single-pot MSCP process proved to be an inherently more efficient and cost-effective methodology for converting lignocellulosic biomass. In this study, several parameters that affect yield of bio-oil were investigated including carrier gas flow rate; pyrolysis temperature; feed particle size; varying types of molten salt and catalysts. Use of molten salt as the reaction medium offered higher liquid yield and experiments containing ZnCl2 showed higher yield than other chloride salts. The highest yield of bio-oil was up to 66% obtained in a ZnCl2-KCl-LiCl ternary molten salt system compared with 32.2% at the same condition without molten salts. In addition, the effect of molten salt on the composition of bio-oil was also studied. It was observed that molten salt narrowed the product distribution of bio-oil with furfural and acetic acid as the only two main components in the liquid with the exception of water. Finally, a thermogravimetric kinetic study on the pyrolysis of biomass in MSCP was conducted.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name

MS

Department

Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Thesis

Date Accepted

2015-04-29

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Subjects

Biomass, molten salt pyrolysis, bio-oil, kinetics study

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