Rapid Characterization of Polymers, Biomass and Feedstocks by Fast Pyrolysis and Catalytic Pyrolysis

Originally delivered Jun 25, 2014
Developed by: AIChE

Photo: Scott Hein

  • Type:
    Archived Webinar
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  • Duration:
    1 hour

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Learn how fast pyrolysis, hydropyrolysis and catalytic pyrolysis are used to convert biomass to biofuels or other value-added chemicals. Two types of pyrolysis systems are described: (1) A third generation pyrolyzer which uses a patented micro-furnace to instantaneously heat the sample and (2) a bench-top, tandem micro-reactor - GC/MS system.  The tandem micro-reactor is a new tool for researchers working with biomass conversion. It can be used to quickly perform complex studies on virtually any feedstock in concert with any catalyst in various atmospheres (e.g., helium, hydrogen, air) over a range of temperatures and pressures.  Multiple modes of operation rapidly generate lots of useful and critical data.

Catalytic pyrolysis utilizes a catalyst to convert pyrolyzates to value-added chemicals. The tandem µ-reactor consists of two reactors in series.  Solids, liquids or gases are introduced into the first reactor.  Solids are pyrolyzed, liquids are vaporized.   The vapors from the first reactor are swept into the second reactor which contains the catalyst bed.  Once through the catalyst, the vapors flow directly to a GC/MS where the compounds are separated and identified. The transformation of Jatropha “press cake” to BTEX will be used to demonstrate the functionality of the tandem µ-reactor.

Dr. Robert Brown, founding director of the Bioeconomy Institute (BEI), summarizes the research at Iowa State University with fast pyrolysis, hydropyrolysis and catalytic pyrolysis using these pyrolysis and reactor systems.  Learn, first hand, how high through-put pyrolysis and catalytic pyrolysis are used to examine the fundamental phenomena associated with these processes.




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